I have a serious (and likely long) post coming about the Acts 4 church and its implications on tax policy. But, I’ve been swamped with work of late and haven’t had a chance to get to it (and tonight is no different). I did want to get something out there though – perhaps something you will find useful. How about the Lord’s Prayer?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” – Matt 6:9-13
It’s such a beautiful prayer (naturally). “Father” – let us be clear as to whom we are talking and exactly how we relate to Him. “Your name is holy” – and let us be clear on our reverence for Him.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done” – we don’t always know how to pray, Father, but we know that Your will is good and true and just. We know that if Your will is done on earth; if Your kingdom comes to this place, then it will be good.
“Give us this day” – take care of us today Father; give us the things we need.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” – Father, we gladly lay down our rights to claim justice against those who have wronged us, because we know that you will do the same for us. And in the end, that is better, and this we know quite well. In the end my “gain” from extracting justice (revenge?) against those who have legitimately wronged me is far less valuable to me that having You lay down the same justice (revenge?) that is due to me. I’m not silly enough to believe that I have done no wrong. No, I know quite well how wretched I am on the inside. And I ask, Lord, that You forgive me. Lay it down. Set aside the justice that I would rightly and painfully inherit. And I’ll do the same for those who have wronged me so terribly.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” – make our paths straight, Lord. We want to hold to You, cling to You, honor You. Deliver us from the things that would draw us away from You. Remember our frame, we are dust; and have mercy on us.
Boy howdy … do I love forgiveness.