Lord's Prayer - Our Father - from Feb 29th Lenten Midweek

Lord's Prayer - Our Father - from Feb 29th Lenten Midweek

Here is the text of the homily from our Midweek Lenten Service.  As you may know what I write and what I say are not always the same thing, but generally this is what I said last night.  If you want the real thing, join us on Wednesdays at 7pm - for Holy Communion. - Pr. Mike

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by they name…

Our Lord’s prayer starts with a claim that the God who made heaven and earth is not just our Lord, our Master and our Creator, but the one who we know and turn to as FATHER. I don’t know if you have ever thought of what a strange thing that is, and how unique that is. No one else even tries to call God – Father. This is unique to Christians.

Why might it be an odd thing? Because when we are talking about our Lord and our God we are talking about the one who made heaven and earth. This is the one who is, more than, all that is. If you took all of creation, all that ever was and ever will be, and put it all together, God is more, so much more than all of that. God is all power, all might, all glory and more than that – God is the source of absolutely everything. God is unlimited, infinite, beyond comprehension, all power, all glory, all everything.

And what are we? We are limited, we are finite, we are limited, we live these short lives and are die. Against the backdrop of eternity – which is where God is just getting started – we are just a blip. Who are we compared to the Great One who made heaven and earth.

We , as insignificant as we might be compared to the one who is all and in all, are ones that this God has claimed and made his own. We are children of God – because God has made it so. In what God has done, we see that we matter to this God. In both the testimony of Holy Scripture we are given witness that this God does in fact care for us, and cherishes us, and wants you and me to be a part of his life.

Though it may defy our logic, though it may seem almost too good to be true, this same God who made heaven and earth, who made you and me and all that are in it. This same God loves you so much that he would not be apart from you and your life. We can call the Great One – Father – because that is who God has revealed himself to be. The one who cares for us, the one who loves us, the one who guides us, God is the Father that we need, the Father and Lord who has claimed us and who will never let us go.

And the specific reason that we call God, Father, is that that Jesus called the creator of heaven and earth Father. We are shown by the Savior of the world that our right relationship with the Lord of all is not one of slavish servitude, bowing and scraping before the powerful one (though God deserves our total and utter praise and eternal thanksgiving). But in Jesus we are shown that the relationship God wants from us is one of a Father and his children.

What that means is that God wants to be a part of our lives. God wants to be the one we turn to for strength and guidance. God desires to be the Father that you need, in the tough and difficult times in this life. God wants to rejoice with you. Most of all – what it seems to be that the Bible is telling us – is that God wants to love us, and heal us, and make us whole – and through that – God wants us to love and heal and reach out to and care for others in this world.
And remember – this isn’t because your Heavenly Father needs anything from you. Our Heavenly Father is complete and One. There is nothing you can add. God doesn’t love you because God needs love in return. God doesn’t make you a part of the mission of saving and healing the world because he needs you and I to do it.

Your Heavenly Father loves you and is in your life – not because he needs you are me – but because we so desperately need him. We need God. God is the way and the truth. He has revealed this truth to us when he came to us in the flesh in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Like a good Father, you Heavenly Father held nothing of himself back to ensure your safety and that you might inherit the good things of life. Your heavenly Father would not let you wallow in sin and death, he would not let death have eternal hold over you. Your heavenly Father knew that you needed him, even when you were blind to his presence. Your Heavenly Father did all to save you for death, even taking on the worst this world could throw at him and never backed off because God came to us in Jesus Christ for the purpose of claiming you, and saving you, and letting you and I know that the great one is the Father that you have and the Father that you need.

That is why when we begin this prayer – we begin by claiming who we are talking to. We are talking to our Father. Our true Father. The one who gave us life, the one who never abandons us, the one who is faithful no matter what. We call on the name of the most high God who has revealed himself to be our loving Father who promises to always be with us. Our Father in Heaven – and Hallowed (or Holy) is his name.

We are children of this heavenly Father. We are the ones who have been claimed by God’s action, we are the ones who Jesus has died for, and for whom he rose again. Your Father has come to you, because he loves you and spares nothing to save you and keep you with him forever. When we consider that grace and goodness, and that this Great and Powerful God loves us – then maybe we can understand why Father is the only way we can describe this one who has given us all and loved us so.
Amen

So remember everybody the great God of all is your Father.  He has claimed you and he loves you.  And all that God does, all that our Heavenly Father does, is work work to call you to him, to get us to turn to him, and to call us every day and every moment deeper into his life and light.  Because?  Because it is what we need.

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