Read: Genesis 16:1-18:15, Matthew 6:1-24, Psalm 7:1-17, Proverbs 2:1-5
Our Father in heaven,
……….May your name be kept holy.
……….May your Kingdom come soon.
……….May your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
………..Give us today the food we need,
………..And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
………..And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!
Relate: When Jesus is speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He says, “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship the Father must worship in spirit and in truth.” We recognize that Jesus is speaking truth to that woman, but one thing that sometimes gets lost in translation is that Jesus is doing this in poetic form. In speaking this truth, He is using a chiasm. This is a form of poetry found throughout the Bible. Rather than trying to explain it, it would be easier to just show it…
A – True worship
B – The Father
C – God is Spirit
B1 – The Father
A1 – True Worship
Perhaps the most famous chiasm in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer. It starts with acknowledging God. Then there are three divine requests. The central statement is, “On earth as it is in heaven.” Then there are three human requests. And it ends with praising God. The Lord’s prayer is not just a model for us today, it is poetry in action. Perhaps the best way to wrap the Bible up, in a nutshell, would be to explain it in a chiasm. God is with us. We sin. Jesus came. Our sins are forgiven. God is with us.
React: One of the key things to know about a chiasm is that the key point is the central statement. In Western culture, we tend to put our key point, our “thesis,” right upfront. We are much more linear on our words and thought and so we want to know, right from the beginning where we are headed. In Near Eastern thought, at least in a chiasm, the most important point is the middle. The key thing in Jesus’ teaching on prayer is that it creates on earth what is found in heaven. What is the point of the three divine requests? That who God is in heaven might be made manifest on earth. What is the point of the three human requests? That how we live on earth might better reflect how we will live in heaven.
When we pray two things are happening. We are participating in bringing heaven to down earth and we are participating in lifting earth to up heaven. That is what intercession is all about. That is what Jesus was teaching. The Lord’s prayer is not simply a beautiful set of words that we repeat by rote. The Lord’s prayer, and all of our prayer, is stretching one hand out to God, stretching the other hand out to our fellow man, and then bringing the two together.
Our Father in heaven,
Let Your name be made holy on earth as it is in heaven.
Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Supply my daily needs on earth as You will in heaven.
Forgive my sins on earth as You have in heaven.
Protect me from evil on earth as You do in heaven.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
The River Walk is a devotional created by Two Rivers Church. To visit or to watch a message online, please click here.
To read previous devotionals taken from the January 7th The River Walk devotionals click below:
With Fist Raised Against The World
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How come no one teaches anything from the teachings of Christ that had been buried for roughly 1,700 years?
Do you mean from places like the “gospels” of Peter and Thomas and such ilk? It is because those are not the teachings of Christ but the ramblings of a heretic
Is that what they told you?
Actually several of those teachings/sayings match up with ones in the Bible, but I can understand the church’s viewpoint on the writings from Christ’s closest disciple, so Christ’s most in depth teachings.
Especially since these writings are the only ones that escaped the church’s orders to burn everything related to Jesus Christ, which then gave them the opportunity to redefine who he was so that they would have Control over this new identity.
Christ taught Responsibility and tried to help others to reach His own level of connection with the Power within Nature itself that created us. Since I have spent half a century walking in Christ’s shoes as well as following all of his teachings, I have experienced many of the things he did, so I’m going to continue His teachings that the church couldn’t figure out because they lack the understanding and the ability to walk in his shoes because of their long history of mis-interpretations.
You said, “Is that what they told you?”
If by “they” you mean historical evidence, archaeology, and factual evidence then… yes.
You said, “These writings are the only ones that escaped the church’s orders to burn everything related to Jesus Christ.”
When and where. What historical evidence do you have to support this claim? It is absolutely wrong on so many levels that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Could you please site and source where you are getting this ridiculous idea from? Even the more liberal later datings of the four gospels place the writing of Mark at around 65 AD, Matthew and Luke at 75 AD, and John in the early 90s. That means these writings were created between 35-55 years after the death and resurrection at the most. So you are claiming that Other teachings were created, suppressed, and these gospels edited all in those first few decades even though there were still hundreds, if not thousands of people still floating around who would have known exactly what Jesus really taught? That makes absolutely no sense.
You said, “I’m going to continue His teachings that the church couldn’t figure out because they lack the understanding and the ability to walk in his shoes”
So are you trying to say that you know better what Jesus taught than those who lived with him, who walked and talked with him? The gospels we have are eyewitness accounts from either those who were his disciples (Matthew and John) or who recorded firsthand accounts of those who were (Mark and Luke). The gospel of Thomas is a late 2nd-century work created by a gnostic writer and not the apostle whose name it claims. Other so-called gospels that are floating around are also all late 2nd or early 3rd century creations. None are considered by any credible scholar as any earlier than that.
Interesting discussion. I have a book with pieces of lost gospels. More scientific study should be devoted to the fragments.
There are actually plenty of studies done on many of the major apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings. Unfortunately, most of it is done on an academic level and isn’t easily accessible for the average guy on the street. And what little is written for the popular market is so off the wall from an academic standpoint, that it might as well be considered another Dan Brown novel.
They should digitize their findings and place it freely on the web with annotations to explain the difficult parts.