Let Us Worship Together!
Our Saviour is incredibly pleased to have you join us for live in-person worship inside the Nave and Sanctuary on Saturday, July 23 at 5:30 pm (casual with Voices of Praise), and Sunday, July 24 at 8:00 am (simple service) and 10:30 am (traditional with choir and/or organ music). The Saturday evening and Sunday 10:30 am services will will also be online via Facebook Livestream!
Join your prayers with the community! During the live stream of the service, you are invited to type into the Facebook chat any prayer requests for those you want included in the prayers of intercession. (As always, you may also send your prayer requests by Wednesday the week ahead to firstname.lastname@example.org.) Please do this at the beginning of the service so that we can write them up and hand them to the pastors before the prayers start.
Sunday 8:00 am — First Light Service
Sunday 8:45 am — Fellowship
Sunday 9:00 am — Sunday School for Adults
Altar Flowers for this weekend’s services were donated by Fred & Marcia Koozer in loving memory of Fred’s father Wendell Koozer.
If you would like to donate flowers in memory, honor or celebration of a loved one or special date, please sign up on the chart in the church office hallway or call the church office at (540) 347-3224 with your information.
Readings and Psalms:
Colossians 2:6-15 [16-19]
7th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C
After watching sales falling off for three straight months at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Colonel calls up the Pope and asks for a favor.
The Pope says, “What can I do?”
The Colonel says, “I need you to change the daily prayer from, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken’. If you do it, I’ll donate 10 Million Dollars to the Vatican.”
The Pope replies, “I am sorry. That is the Lord’s prayer and I cannot change the words.” So the Colonel hangs up.
After another month of dismal sales, the Colonel panics, and calls again. “Listen your Excellency. I really need your help. I’ll donate $50 million dollars if you change the words from ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken.'”
And the Pope responds, “It is very tempting, Colonel Sanders. The church could do a lot of good with that much money. It would help us to support many charities. But, again, I must decline. It is the Lord’s prayer, and I can’t change the words.”
So the Colonel gives up again. After two more months of terrible sales. The Colonel gets desperate. “This is my final offer, your Excellency. If you change the words from, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘Give us this day our daily chicken’ I will donate $100 million to the Vatican.”
The Pope replies, “Let me get back to you.”
So the next day, the Pope calls together all of his bishops and he says, “I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that KFC is going to donate $100 million to the Vatican.”
The bishops rejoice at the news. Then one asks about the bad news. The Pope replies, “The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account.”[i]
Ah, the beloved Lord’s Prayer—contemporary, traditional, debts, or trespasses, long ending or short—whatever it is we are used do, we love it. They loved it way back in the early church, where it shows up in some of our oldest writings describing church, as well as two different times in the Bible, and it has stood the test of time and the transitions from one church to many different denominations.
Have you ever wondered why? I believe it is in part because of that unifying factor—we like how it connects us to other Christians, no matter our differences. However, it is also because it is the prayer Jesus used to teach his disciples, and to all the readers of the story of Jesus. You might call it the ultimate how-to guide for prayer!
Since the lectionary gave us Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer this weekend, we’ll look just at it. Let’s read it together:
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.
See how this short version speaks about God, politics, bread, sins, debts, and trials?
Jesus also displays different types of prayer:
- “Father, hallowed be your name,” is Adoration, or praising God for who God is.
- And he teaches us to intercede for others:
- “Your kingdom come,” is a request for justice in our world.
- But we are supposed to pray for what we need not just what others need with
- “Give us each day our daily bread.”
- “And forgive us our sins,” is confession of our faults, and
- “for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us,” tells us to act like God.
- Finally, remembering his own temptations in the wilderness, he calls us to pray for protection and help for all with “And do not bring us to the time of trial”
You see? Praise, Confession, Asking for individual needs and corporate needs. It really is a how-guide for prayer. (I would add thanksgiving to the list myself, but that often gets listed under Praise and Adoration.)
I encourage you to read the Lord’s Prayer from Luke side by side, line by line, with whatever version you know best when you get a moment. Let it speak to you. And perhaps, you may reflect on how YOU learned to pray. That’s what I want to focus on: the introduction to it: After [Jesus] had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” … Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say …”
The disciples had Jesus to teach them how to pray. My question today is “Who taught YOU to pray?”
[after gleaning some answers] I remember learning at home with those bedside prayers and certainly with our mealtime graces. Like you, I’ve learned in church, with regular worship, listening to others pray and reading along. But I also have a very clear memory of learning how to pray in Sunday School! I remember a teacher sitting with us saying that prayer is like writing a letter to God. You might not get your answers right away, but God was listening. So we practiced writing that letter to God, our prayers, right then and there.
Dear God, comma, new paragraph, I hope you are doing well. Thank you for all you give me! [I don’t remember any of that paragraph. It seemed sooo long, but it was probably just a thought or two.] Love, comma, new paragraph, Terri.
All those years ago I learned to talk with God, and that skill is with me day by day. In fact, that lesson is certainly one of the steps that got me here in the pulpit with you today! That’s who taught me to pray. Now, who will teach the next generation?
Jesus said to ask and it would be given to you, so I am asking: would you consider helping children, youth, and adults learn to pray? Our Sunday School and Youth Ministries programs are gearing up to start next month, and there are many spots open for you—whether as a teacher, an organizer, a substitute or supporting role. Maybe you’ll bake the cookies or send out mailings. I hope you will invite someone to come, and come yourself—starting August 28th we’re back to all ages Sunday School—which includes you!
Now, I don’t want you to feel guilty. If you can’t sign up to volunteer, that is okay. God will provide what we need. But you can pray, as Jesus asks us to do. Pray with persistence like that neighbor who needed bread! Ask, for God is listening.
No matter how God answers my question today, I want to leave you with this promise from Jesus: God is a loving parent, wanting nothing but the best for YOU. Your child asks for an egg, would you give a scorpion? Of course not! God loves you, and always will. As you go out, remember that promise, and walk in his love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgical material © 2017 Augsburg Fortress, used by permission of Augsburg Fortress/Sundays and Seasons #SAS009239. Copyright Acknowledgments for print & broadcast: CCLI - Copyright License #2800659 and Streaming License #20585472 (including SongSelect Advanced); and One License #710443-A.