The Our Father: Mission Accomplished
Life of Christ (Week 19 of 27)
Quite a few years ago, Jen Fulwiler hosted a series on the Our Father. In this series, Jen had different writers reflect on each word of the Our Father. (She also now has it available as an ebook if you sign up for her email newsletter.)
I had never thought about praying that way before, and it stayed with me. I caught myself paying attention to prayer in a whole new way. How I talked to God was impacted, that’s for sure.
In Chapter 41, Sheen unpacks the Our Father in a way that similarly made me pause.
Holiness must have a philosophical and theological foundation, namely Divine truth; otherwise it is sentimentality and emotionalism. Many would say later on, “We want religion, but no creeds.” This is like saying we want healing, but no science of medicine; music, but no rules of music; history, but no documents. Religion is indeed a life, but it grows out of truth, not away from it. It has been said it makes no difference what you believe; it all depends on how you act. This is psychological nonsense, for a man acts out of his beliefs. Our Lord placed truth or belief in Him first; then came sanctification and good deeds.
Life of Christ, Chapter 41, paragraph 12
Back in my non-Christian days, when I rationalized and thought I was seeking to understand, I was actually denying truth. I was the exact person Sheen outlines here, but what it took to change my heart wasn’t a hard argument or a loud voice.
It was love.
I was raised with a lot of anger: there was anger at home, anger inside me, and anger in the air all around me. I look back, and there’s a haze of anger that lingers over all of it.
In that anger, there was a lot of pain. I felt that at the time, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I blamed the hypocrisy of the stupid Christianity and the people who insisted that there was capital-T truth without leaving the comfort of their recliners.
The battle of anger was fought with soft words and gentleness. The seeds of hope were watered with tears, and it was then that I realized that…God. Was. There.
Sheen explains the Our Father as Jesus’s “Mission accomplished” prayer, and that makes me smile. Though I haven’t served in the military, I’m surrounded by those who have or are.
And I certainly get the idea of a mission.
I’m a wife and a mom: I have plenty of missions. I have work outside that which I do at home: those projects are, without a doubt, a mission of sorts in my life.
But my most important mission is to help these people in my home on their path heavenward. When I’m on my death bed, will it be a “Mission accomplished” prayer that’s on my lips or a plea for more time?
I’ll never pray the Our Father the same way again.
1. What’s your mission? What is God calling you to do…today, in this moment, with your gifts and talents? How can praying the Our Father inspire you to draw closer to Him as you work on it?
2. How does the discussion of the Our Father as a “Mission accomplished” prayer resonate with you?
Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!
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