The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
We invariably did the lima bean experiment at school every year that we were in the primary grades. Basically, we wanted to determine if the plants would grow under different conditions of varying light exposure and water.
As you’d expect, the plants that were provided with appropriate amounts of sunlight and water thrived. Those plants, although primitive when juxtaposed with the intricacies inherent in human beings, somehow knew what they needed to survive. All too often we witnessed the lima bean plants extending in the direction of the sunlight. They were straining for sustenance. There was one year when things didn’t work according to plan, though: the plants that had minimal, if any, exposure to light unexpectedly flourished for a few days (before meeting a bitter demise).
In much the same way that the plants moved intuitively toward light, humans act instinctively. Similarly, we have physical needs like food and water. Then there’re those invisible, yet very distinctive, human needs like hope and intellectual challenge. And, without thinking about it, humans gravitate toward positivity and shy away from negative people and situations.
Humans need another form of nourishment too: a community that is the Church. This isn’t something that can be satisfied in a one-time deal. Humans constantly need validation through a sense of belonging. Going to church affords us with an opportunity to receive our fill on the Word of God. There’s always something new to be learned and applied. This should serve as motivation enough for us to strive for more.
Like the plants that lived in darkness, some humans lead a life in the absence of God;they don’t know the light. They’re essentially lulled into a false sense of security. Whether they’ve become stagnant in their faith and put it to the wayside, or have never known God, the Enemy tricks them into a feeling of contentment, maybe even happiness. Such individuals erroneously believe they have all that’s needed and therefore travel the path alone. They’re oblivious, if not ignorant, to their deficiency that is the lack of Christ’s presence in their lives. Things may seem to go well for these individuals but they’re utterly alone, in the good times and the bad. God isn’t there to celebrate the happy moments with them or support and guide them through the rough patches in life.
If they continue in this same way, we understand their finality like the plants that ultimately perished, shrouded in darkness. Yet, God is a loving and forgiving god. It’s never too late for individuals to come to Him and derive nourishment. God’s power is such that even nourishment received late in life can last for eternity. Such is the power of God! He wants to provide for all of his people, even those who aren’t yet His.