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Your Imperfections. And Mine. (a blog in 2 parts: quick review + so today)

December 16, 2015

QUICK REVIEW:

We’re two days away from the opening of the new Star Wars movie. This is a good thing.

Are you aware of the controversy surrounding it in Britain? Turns out this is a good thing, too.

It involves the power of The Lord’s Prayer. And I’m not kidding.

This goes back to November 22nd of this year, when a commercial containing only the words of The Lord’s Prayer was banned from British movie theaters. Produced by The Church of England to be shown as a paid commercial before the much-anticipated movie, it’s a promo piece for a new site, http://www.JustPray.uk.

But it was deemed by the BBC to be “unsuitable” as it “carries the risk of upsetting of offending audiences.”

Enter the well-spoken if somewhat snarky Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft, who disagrees with the reasoning and the decision of the BBC, even as he points out seven reasons to ban The Lords’ Prayer.

As we move toward the premier of the film, I invite you to join me in considering what the Bishop says —

The Lord’s Prayer is powerful for a reason.  These words shape lives and families and community.  There are real reasons why the LP has been banned in cinemas.  Here are seven, one for every line.

1st this prayer gives to those who pray it an identity and a place in the world and a countercultural community.  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.

2nd this prayer gives us the courage to live in an imperfect world.  “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. 

3rd , this prayer teaches us to live with just enough.  This is the most dangerous reason why it cannot be shown with the adverts at the cinema.  It teaches contentment, the most subversive virtue of them all. “Give us this day our daily bread”.

4th, this prayer teaches me to live with my imperfections and the imperfections of others.  There is a way to deal with the rubbish in our lives.  “Forgive us our sins”.

AND SO TODAY:

5th, this prayer offers a way of reconciliation.  “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”.  We are not meant to feud or live in hostility or rivalry.  We are meant to forgive and be forgiven, to be reconciled to each other.

—- There it is. So very Jesus.

When He has us pray the words Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, Christ puts responsibility on each of us.

St. Francis teaches us to echo this: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”

Boom.

Like a classic song by The Eagles says,

The more I know, the less I understand,
all the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again.
I’ve been tryin’ to get down
to the heart of the matter
but my will gets weak
and my thoughts seem to scatter
but I think it’s about forgiveness.

You’ll have to excuse me now.

Got some extra work to do today.

Forgiveness and reconciliation work.

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