Dear Risen Lord disciples:
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that this Lenten season I am re-reading Walt Wangerin’s “Reliving the Passion” as I look forward to witnessing the epic Oberammergau Passion Play next year. I was struck the other day by these words:
“Behold: what takes place in the Garden of Gethsemane is the Lord’s Prayer actually happening, as though the earlier words were a script and this is the drama itself:
Jesus cries his deepest and desperate desire: that the hour, by the power of the Father, pass away from him. This is the living substance of the sixth petition: Save us from the time of trial.
Jesus pleads three times, “remove this cup from me,” the plea of the seventh petition: Deliver us from evil.
But under every request of his own, he places an attitude of faithful obedience to his Father, saying, “Yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Here is the third petition, which prepares us properly for any answer God may give all other petitions: Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.
Implicit in his entering into “the hour” is that Jesus, now more than ever in his ministry, is the living embodiment of the second petition, Thy kingdom come. Right now, his acceptance of the Father’s will is the coming of the kingdom here.
And he begins both prayers the same. But where the first might have seemed a formal address to “Our Father,” this latter cry is a howl, a spontaneous, needful plea: “Abba, Father!” Here is a child who cannot survive apart from this relationship. By crying “Abba!” he hurls himself at the holy parent: he runs like a child; like a child he begs attention; but also like a perfect child he trusts his daddy to do right and well.
When Jesus teaches us to pray, he does not teach plain recitation. Rather, he calls us to a way of being. He makes of prayer a doing. And by his own extreme example, he shows that prayer is the active relationship between ourselves, dear little children, and the dear Father, Abba.”
There are things both little and large the community of Risen Lord Lutheran Church is praying for these days. May your own daily prayer be indeed a way of being, and may we all in these last weeks of Lent be growing in active, living relationship with our loving God as we approach an Easter life.
Be well, friends. You are loved.
Pastor Dave Schreiber