The Core Sunday Gathering

August 14, 2011

Series: Avinu (The Prayer of Jesus)
Week 2: Halloween Be Thy Name

-Question: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

        -I don’t remember too many from childhood

        -[SLIDE] But this was a fun get-up from few years ago (American Jesus)

-Assign Scripture in KJV or NKJV: Matthew 6:9 “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.”

-“Hallowed be thy name” [SLIDES THROUGHOUT]

        -As a kid, this line always made me think of Halloween

        -Which is great for candy, but bad for being creepy and frightening.

                -And I don’t that feeling has left us as adults. Like in the phrase “This cemetery is Hallowed ground.”

        -So it turns out that our perception of God really is a lot like a kid’s Halloween

                -On the one hand, it’s like a vending machine for all your favorite things

                -But on the other hand, it’s scary and mysterious and you don’t know what might happen to you

        -A really large chunk of our adult perceptions actually come from childhood misunderstandings.

                -And the first half of verse 9 there isn’t any clearer: “Our Father which ART in heaven”

                        -Leaves you wondering which kind of art our father makes in heaven.

                        -Or worse yet, that there’s a Witch who makes art. And that makes sense with the Halloween business

        -It helps when a modern translation comes along with “Our Father in heaven”

                -And swaps out “Thy” with “Your”. So now we have “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name.”

                -But we’re still stuck with Halloween, or Hollowed-out, or “Hallo, Ed be Thy Name.”

        -If you want to clear that up, you’ll say, simply, “Holy is your name.”

                -Or if you really want to express the text, then “Make your name Holy”.

                -Or the most expressive of all, “Show us how good and perfect you are.”

        

        -What a great way to start a prayer: “I heard that you’re good and perfect. So let’s see it.”

                -Because that’s what “HOLY” means.  Good. Perfect. And most of all, Set Apart. Special.

                -Jesus would have said the word “KADOSH”. And in heaven we’ll say it a lot.

                -Assign Scripture: Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE Lord GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS, AND IS, AND IS TO COME."

        -Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh, Adonai Elohim Ts’vaot, Asher Hayah V’hoveh V’yavo

        -Question: Do you own anything that you consider sacred? Could you replace it with something identical?

                -No... it’s different, right? And that’s the point.

                -After calling God “Our Father”, Jesus is making a serious point out of setting God apart.

                        -So that we don’t turn the Creator of the Universe into a Step-Dad or a Fun Uncle

                        -Yes, he has bridged the gap, and called us into an intimate relationship, 

                                but he’s still unthinkably enormous.

                -And it’s scary, true. But it’s also a relief when I have big problems, that I have an infinitely bigger God.

                        -Why do all this, otherwise? Why should we want to change the world for the sake of a wussy deity?

                        -When I meet him face-to-face, I want to be absolutely blown away. And I will be.

                        -Isaiah had a vision of God where the train of his robe filled the temple.

                        -Imagine the Shrine Mosque, or JQH Arena, or Bass Pro. Just the hem of God’s robe would fill it up.

                        -That’s big. Why do we so often imagine that God is thwarted by our problems?

-PASS OUT PRAYER QUESTIONNAIRES

-So yes, it’s true that God can handle it. Whatever you’re dealing with, he’s got it under control.

        -You would also assume that such a massive deity would be un-interested in taking direction from us

        -Question: Are you the kind of person who goes to the doctor and tells her how to examine you?

                -Or maybe you go to the mechanic and tell him which way to turn the wrench…

                -I work as a graphic designer and I get pretty frustrated sometimes when people come for help…

                        but they’re not the least bit interested in my professional opinion.

                        -They tell me what’s in their heads and say things like “Now make it happen.”

                -And I have to confess I can be that way sometimes… I argue with the experts.

                -It’s a good thing God’s infinite wisdom is matched by his infinite patience, because I’m sure this gets old.

        -Because we gloss right over that next phrase in the Lord’s Prayer:

        -“Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

        -Half the time (or all the time?) we might as well be honest and start our prayers,

                -“May my will be done on earth as it is in my head. Now make it happen.”

        -You may have heard me say this before, but I believe Buddhism has something to teach us here.

                -Siddharta Gautama Buddha taught that the solution to suffering is the elimination of desire

                -In other words, if you don’t want anything, you’ll never be disappointed.

        -This is not the same as what Jesus teaches us, but there is a gem in there.

                -Because we so often approach God with powerful desires.

                -“Please heal” or “Please give” or “Please bless” We know what we want and we often beg for it.

                -It’s true that God wants to know what’s really in our hearts… so we should always tell him.

                -But we should also be prepared to surrender it.        

                -Assign Scripture: Matthew 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

                -Once again Jesus shows us a perfect example of how to pray.

                -Tell the Father exactly how you feel. And then let go of it. When you offer it to him, LET HIM KEEP IT.

        -This is how to let HIS KINGDOM COME. Why would we want it to be His Kingdom, unless we want Him as King?

                -Otherwise we’re praying “My Kingdom Come.”

-It’s not easy to pray for His Kingdom to Come, and His Will to be done. Because we don’t know what it is.

        -And just like being a kid on Halloween, you don’t know what’s going to happen to you.

        -I knew a lot of missionaries growing up, and I kept thinking that as soon as you surrendered to God.

                -Boom, he’d send you to Africa.

                -Nothing against Africa, but it’s about the most different place I could imagine. Very, very foreign.

        -All I could think about was what God might want me to do, and how uncomfortable it would be.

                -I couldn’t get my head around the Big Picture. None of us really can.

                -Even Jesus, when he prayed in the garden, was limited from seeing it. But we can see it now in Philippians

        -[SLIDE] Read Philippians 2 Together: 8 And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-- 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

        -God the Father had the whole scope in mind, from beginning to end.

                -His goal was not to make Jesus suffer. His goal was to lift him up high above all creation

                -And if you read enough of the Father’s words, you’ll know his plan is not to make you suffer, either

                        -He will allow you to go through trials and troubles

                        -But he’s holding his breath for the day when he can lift you up, 

                                and make you everything he had in mind when he created you in His image

-PRAYER