There is a running joke among preachers that if the lessons seem too tough to tackle, you can always “preach the collect” or, in the absolute worst case scenario, “preach the Lord’s Prayer.” I’ve preached the collect a time or two, but never have I been so bold as to preach the Lord’s Prayer. Imagine my surprise then, when I opened the Lectionary Page and saw,
“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
- Father, hallowed be your name.
- Your kingdom come.
- Give us each day our daily bread.
- And forgive us our sins,
- for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
- And do not bring us to the time of trial.'”
What does one preach when the lesson is the Lord’s Prayer!?!?!
Back in seminary, St. James’ Potomac did a five week Lenten Study on the Lord’s Prayer. Whole books have been written on the topic. I’m certain the “trespasses” vs. “debts” vs. “sins” debate has caused more than one schism. So, I’m wondering early on a Monday morning, will you be preaching the Lord’s Prayer this week? I’m tempted.
But I’m just as tempted not to.