“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Last Sunday we dove into these powerful words from Jesus as we began to wind down our series on the Lord’s Prayer. We honed in on the power of the word “deliver” and noticed how often in scripture God delivers his people from evil. He doesn’t stop evil from occurring, but does deliver his people through it. Jesus models what this looks like through his whole ministry, encountering the work of the devil in the devil’s various forms. Going up against demons, an evil political system, and evil done in the name of God, Jesus delivers people through evil in an epic battle that builds until the cross. We remembered the scene just before the cross when Jesus is praying in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus instructs his disciples, “do not fall into temptation;” but we watch as they fall asleep... to the reality of evil. When we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” part of our prayer is that we might not ignore the presence and reality of evil among us. The evil one is still at work and Christians are called to continue the battle, seeking deliverance for ourselves and others from Satan’s snares.
Next Sunday we will enter into the final phrase, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” This bit is a doxology added by the early Christians. This Sunday will feel a bit different as we intentionally praise louder and longer than most Sundays! This can be our only response to recognizing the work of God in our lives, his power and glory and eternal kingdom. Come ready to sing to the heavens and be lifted by upbeat words of thanks and praise. After our worship service, we’ll share in a potluck (last name A-O, main dish; P-Z, side dish) and following that, the 6th-12th grade students will gather in the teen room to watch The Hobbit.
Jasper and Aaron continue to co-teach the adult auditorium class on prayer. Remember to try a new way of praying this week (breath prayer, meditation, etc.), and come ready to share your experience. This has been a fruitful time together with lots of creativity and inspiring ideas about the great mystery and power of prayer.