The Disciples requested of Jesus: "Teach us to Pray!" (Luke 11:1)
Jesus responded by teaching what we know as the Lord's Prayer. In our 8:30 Lenten Class we are looking at how this model prayer introduces us a variety of prayers. Join us this week as we learn from Jesus a variety of ways to pray!
“Our Father in Heaven” A Prayer Connection > I remember how much God loves me
“Hallowed be thy name” A Prayer of Refocusing > I express how much I love God
“Thy Kingdom Come” A Prayer of Cooperation > I offer myself to be used for God’s purposes
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” A Prayer of Surrender > I give God all my pain and sorrow
“Give us this day our daily bread” A Prayer of Dependence > I trust God to provide all my needs
“Forgive us our debts” A Prayer of Cleansing > I admit my faults
“As we forgive the debts of others” A Prayer of Release > I release those who have hurt me
“Lead us not into temptation” A prayer of Protection > I ask God to guard my heart
“Deliver me from evil” A Prayer of Deliverance > I depend on God’s power
“Yours is the kingdom, your is the power and the glory forever” A Prayer of Victory > I praise God for ultimate victory
I am intrigued by the responses of the four people who have conversations with Jesus in John 3-5. Two are tepid. Two are trusting. First comes Nick at Night, who is tepid in his response. Next are the characters I call Sammy and Roy, who have unrestrained trust. Then John describes another tepid response from one I think of as a Half-Baked Turkey.
Here is what the New Testament Scholar, Dale Bruner, has to say about the healed man in John, Chapter 5:
“The man left and told the Jewish people that Jesus was the man who made him well.” This is either dumb or malicious. Dumb if he had not heard the hostility in the earlier hostile questions (but he may mean well, for here he says, “Jesus was the man who made [me] well”; he does not say again, as he had said in v. 11, “the man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat’”). But his report surely lacks common sense, at best. (Is being dumb a sin?) Doesn’t he know he is endangering his healer? It is hard to see complete innocence in his remark. Because of this “lame” sentence in this man’s final appearance (and because Jesus’ warning), I consider the man only to be half-healed. We can hold out hope for the man’s subsequent response to Jesus’ grace-and-truth last word to him now. But the way this healing story ends seems to be the storyteller’s way of asking us to raise the question of the extent of the man’s healing. It is because of the cumulative questions raised by the “healed” man’s behavior in vv. 13-15 that I have felt it appropriate or at least candid to speak of the half-healed and hard-to-like man as he is portrayed for us in the whole of the story.”
Tod Bolsinger will be speaking at a leadership training event at Magnolia Presbyterian Church in Riverside (7200 Magnolia Ave, 92505) on Saturday February 24, 9-noon.
The costs for the event have been significantly underwritten. Participants are only asked for a registration fee of $5 to save you a place, and to cover incidental expenses and refreshments.
Tod is the Vice-President for Vocation and Formation, and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has pastored in multiple churches in Southern California for over 25 years. He will be sharing insights gained from his experience and shared in his most recent book, “Canoeing the Mountains."
We are invite church members to attend and particularly encourage elected leaders and committee members. Please contact me or the church office to signup to go.