Our church started a new series today… “Our Father… 66 Words you thought you knew.” Each week, our pastors will be breaking down The Lord’s Prayer and really “unpacking” each verse so that it’s more meaningful to us. If you’ve heard that prayer, you’ve probably heard it a million times, and take for granted its original intention… I know I do. But it’s Jesus’ model for how we should pray, so I suppose it’s worth paying attention to 🙂
So this morning, the verse was Matthew 6:9… “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” The dictionary definition of the word hallowed is “regarded as holy; sacred.” By beginning his prayer this way, Jesus is suggesting that we begin our prayers by praising God, worshiping Him for his holiness. But the kicker is that worship shouldn’t only be reserved for church or prayer. We are called to worship God with our lives – all day, every day. Today’s speaking pastor, Shawn Williams, encouraged us to live with an attitude of gratitude this week… being thankful, even for the littlest things.
I definitely fall pray to periods in my life where my worship is compartmentalized, and only happens at church. But as Shawn suggested, by changing my focus and being thankful all day, even for the seemingly insignificant, I won’t be able to stop worshiping. It will come naturally. So I’ve accepted his challenge, and found myself being easily conscious of everything I’m thankful for.
Today, I’m thankful that our week has gone smoothly (for the most part) while Ryan was out of the country. I’m thankful that Ryder slept well, and allowed me to get showered before he woke up this morning so that we could make it to church on time. I’m even thankful for the up-close parking spot we got at Costco so that we didn’t have to be in the cold wind too long. (C’mon… you know you’re always thankful for that too!)
But my biggest “thankful” moment came when I picked Ryder up from Kids’ City after the service. There’s a new leader in Ryder’s classroom, and I’m sorry to say that I haven’t even learned her name yet. But I’m grateful for her and the impact she’s having on my baby. Every week, even in the toddler room, they have a brief lesson that teaches them whatever the adults are learning, but in an age-appropriate way. They always do some sort of craft, and are being taught how to pray before they have their snack. When we pick them up, we get to take home their creation along with a little note explaining what they learned that day and encouraging us to continue the discussion throughout the week. This is what we brought home today:
I know that this doesn’t mean much to most people… After all, it is just a bunch of purple scribbles on a page. But this represents a million things to me, most of which I can’t effectively explain. It reminds me that God knows even the smallest children by name, and wants them to come to know Him… He knows my son. How cool is that? But it also reveals one of my short-comings as a parent. I have taken for granted the fact that Ryder is so young, and made the assumption that I don’t have to worry about teaching him lessons like these (yet) because he’s “too little to understand.” And while it’s true that he probably doesn’t comprehend the meaning of what’s being read to him, it’s never too early to start trying to get the point across. I just about burst into tears when his teacher handed him over the gate to me and cheerfully exclaimed, “He said ‘Jesus’ today!” Again, I’m quite sure he doesn’t grasp the meaning of the word he repeated… but I can add this to my list of thankful moments for today.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks we are given more insight into this most important prayer… and I’m hopeful that I’ll remember this day, and continue to live with an attitude of gratitude.
By the way… if you’re interested in hearing this message (or any other), visit www.communitychristian.org.