Logical Gal – the word not chosen

4 Feb


I’m beginning to be more intrigued by what is NOT said than the choice of words actually made.

Look at the prayer Jesus provided when asked by his disciples to teach them to pray.  If we take just a phrase, we can formulate some questions and implications:

Our Father, who art in heaven

1. Our  –

  • What other pronouns could Jesus have encouraged us to use?  My Father, the Father, or Your Father (talking to Jesus about His dad)
  • The fact that we are to pray to God with a collective pronoun of  ‘our’ emphasizes the position of prayer in a community.  We don’t always pray alone, but with sisters and brothers.

2. Father –

  • What other role could Jesus have picked as primary?   the mythical gods of Greece & Rome exercised dominion over different parts of creation.  God could have been a dictator, a puppeteer, a tyrant, a caretaker, or even an indifferent creator
  • Father implies responsibility beyond begetting.  It invites a relationship, a trusting dependence.  It evokes closeness, communication and even playfulness

3. Heaven –

  • This God is NOT on earth, or part of the universe.  He is somewhere else, somewhere beyond.
  • He’s therefore not part of the created order we know.
  • Heaven is that GOOD place, evocative of the best of all realms.
  • No matter what happens to the created order, this heavenly Father won’t be destroyed or affected because He is transcendent

In considering the other choices the author could have selected, I’m left with the impression that each word is important because of its intentionality.  A reverse implication is then this:

Do I make MY words count?  And if not, how can I begin to be more thoughtful?

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