I vividly remember an experience I had as a young teenager in the 1960s. I was playing sandlot baseball with my buddies, and overhead flew six B-52 Bombers. We knew they were on their way to Vietnam to carry out bombing missions.
When the planes were out of sight and sound, I looked across the playing field again as we continued to play our game. Everything was still the same, and yet it wasn’t. There was an uneasiness about the sight and sound.
That Sunday at my local Episcopal Church, during the Prayers of the People, we mentioned in our petitions: “For peace in our world and for the men of the armed forces.” That was the first time I remember having an awareness of the connection between those general petitions and specific personnel on their way to conflict.
The disciples watched Jesus for almost three years, and they discovered that a central aspect of his spirituality was a life of prayer. After one particularly arduous day, the disciples approached Jesus with the universal longing: “Lord, teach us to pray.” In response to the request, the first thing that he did was to give them some words … 57 wonderful words which we now know as The Lord’s Prayer.
At Bethesda-by-the-Sea we are regularly invited into a life of prayer, during worship, and more specifically through the ministry of the Daughter’s of the King. And this fall, the Rev. Susan Beebe and I will lead a series on the Lord’s Prayer.
Each day, you and I are given the great opportunity to pray for the real concerns of our world, and then to rise off of our knees and go to work for God’s world.