Praying beside Jesus

A Reflection in Response to Proper 12, 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

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Please rise as you are able and join in singing
the prayer that Jesus taught us.
Have you ever wondered as I have what sort of voice Jesus had?
Deep, high-pitched, booming, thin, clear, orotund, reverberant?
Did he sing? Was he baritone(my choice), bass, or tenor?
And why do we sing this simple prayer? Because we love Jesus,
and we love his prayer, surely, and singing connects us all,
especially when we hold hands and even raise our arms
as the tune soars with the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen—
an ending not recorded in either Luke or Matthew,
sometimes seeming unlike the simple style
of Jesus throughout the New Testament.

Jesus teaching 2 obrerofiel com

Can you imagine praying with Jesus, I mean really
praying right beside him, perhaps kneeling, even standing,
silently or aloud or both, feeling the power of his embodied presence,
his breathing, perhaps even warmth of his body,
the smell of sweat rolling down his face or chest in Judean heat,
and as you finish, you ask, as did the disciples, to teach you
how to pray? Can you feel your eagerness, desire to learn
all he has to teach, yearning to hear yet more, be more close
to him, indeed simply be more of the human God calls
you to be? Can you imagine being that close, in that intimacy
with our Lord, whom we call Savior, Brother, Liberator?

This prayer is about relationship with our Holy Parent,
and with Jesus, something we can see in Lucan
verses that follow the prayer, about friends who respond
to your persistence, your reaching out in need, love,
hope and peace, wanting always to give each other
the best we have, even when we are tired or angry or hurt.
Might we want sometimes to say or sing this prayer
not just in massed group but perhaps turning to your neighbor,
taking each other’s hands, offering the sacred prayer
to each other, not closing your eyes but looking deeply
into each other’s eyes so you can see Jesus
in that child of God facing you  as they see him
in the child of God facing them?

Holy One, focus Your truth within us, the light and dark—
Help us use it for You, Your world and people and ourselves. Amen.

writing+poetryAbout this prayer . . .  Who does not love the Lord’s Prayer? But what do we do with it? Do we not at least sometimes make it into some sort of triumphant evocation of God rather than the tender, intimate relationship Jesus had with the One he called Abba? I love to sing it as much as the next person, but sometimes I yearn to say it, perhaps to say it really slowly, savoring each word, hearing the holy resonance with which Jesus offered it. And then there are times when I wonder about him, when I daydream about him, when I do wonder how he sounded. I know how he sounds to me, at the few times when I have been blessed to hear his voice, but I do not know if I am hearing correctly. So I know what he really wants is for me to hear him, see him, be with him, with and through you, with and through my neighbors.


The pictures representing Jesus are from the Lumo Project, an award-winning DVD presentation of the four gospels. You can check them out here

©RobinGorsline 2016
Please use the credit line above when the poem is published in any form