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The New Star Wars and The Lord’s Prayer. What? (a blog in 2 parts: “quick review” + “and so today”)

December 18, 2015

QUICK REVIEW:

The new Star Wars movie officially opens today! This is a good thing.

(But no Spoilers, please and thank you.)

Are you aware of the controversy surrounding this new movie 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”.

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.

6th, this prayer builds resilience in the human spirit.  When you say this prayer each day you are prepared for the bad days.  “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”  Faith is for the deep valleys as much as the green pastures.  We may not have the answers but we know that God dwells with us and in us.

AND SO TODAY:

7th, this prayer tells us how the story ends, how this life is to be lived and lived well.  “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever.  Amen”.

The prayer returns, as it began, to the praise and glory of the living God.

— May the force of The Lord’s Prayer awaken within each of us the praise and glory of the living God.

St. Irenaeus said long ago, “God’s greatest glory is a human being fully alive.” Someone wonders why and how, which Bishop Croft answers by saying to the praise and glory of the living God.

Amen?

 

 

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