Q & R: The Lord's Prayer
Here's the Q:
I hope my greeting isn't too familiar, but your writings make you seem so personable. And despite the differences in our backgrounds, I feel a kinship with you in your vision of what Christianity can be. I wrote to you several months ago - I was the angsty Mormon whose email you published in January.
My wife and I were in the audience Friday night in Iowa City (and fourth in line to have our copy of A New Kind of Christianity signed by you). We had a terrific evening and thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. My wife, whose familiarity with your writings was limited to knowledge that I've read some of them, really enjoyed it. We are grateful that you made the trip here, and that we were able to attend.
I loved the Lord's Prayer exercise we did - the simplicity of the chant - with hundreds of our voices echoing in that big sanctuary - was moving. Where did that version of the prayer come from? Is that from a translation that I'm just not familiar with, or is it one that you've devised? Could you point me to a place where I could read it (and transcribe it)? I'd love to have it be a part of my spiritual practice.
I love having the familiar rendered unfamiliar - it helps me see a new how radical Jesus' message was.
Here's the R:
Thanks so much for making contact. I was so impressed with the group in Iowa City. What a great group of churches that came together to sponsor the event!
That's a version of the Lord's Prayer that I developed ... especially during the writing of Secret Message of Jesus. As I worked on that book, and also during the writing of Everything Must Change, I kept coming back to the prayer and seeing it in its historical context, and its richness kept intensifying for me.
Here are the words (in their current form), used with a simple five-note ascending scale:
Our Father, above us and all around us
May your unspeakable name be revered.
Now, here on earth, may your commonwealth come.
On earth as in heaven, may your will be done.
Give us today our bread for today.
Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive.
Lead us away from the perilous trial.
Liberate us from the evil.
For the kingdom is yours and yours alone.
The power is yours and yours alone.
The glory is yours and yours alone.
Now and forever, amen ...
Now, here on earth may your commonwealth come.
Here on earth, may your dreams come true.
God bless. I look forward to meeting you again.