No Father without brothers and sisters

In my preparing for my present sermon series on The Lord’s Prayer I came across a gem of a book. We dare to say Our Father was written by Louis Evely in the 1960s, when he noticed an increase of individualism in Western society and church. He underlined the fact that Jesus taught us to pray OUR Father, and not MY Father.
Allow me to give you two quotes from his book. The first one is about our need for community as Christians. We are all sons and daughters of the Father, and we cannot rejoice in this without also realizing and living that we are therefore also siblings. We are brothers and sisters:

'Outside a brotherhood, outside a solidarity, it is not possible to say the Our Father. Give us our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses. God willed a community, even of bread, even of sins. Thus God has taught us that a filial prayer is necessarily a brotherly one and that to be sons we must be brothers. If a son leaves his brothers, he's no longer a son. If he withdraws from the community, if he cuts himself adrift, he also ceases to be a son of God. (p. 11)'

This underlines our need to behave as family. That is why we attend the ‘family diner’ each week, when we commemorate what our eldest Brother did for us, and when we join in prayers to our Father.

We all need this Father. According to Louis Evely:

'The tragedy of our generous but desperate age is that want a brotherhood without a Father. But it is even more tragic to watch so-called Christians who want fatherhood without brotherhood, who want to be sons of the Father without being brothers of the other sons. (p. 13)'

Our societies suffer from a lack of cohesion. We are eagerly searching for ways to create more interrelatedness between people. Many are so lonely. If only more people would know God as their Father - that would make them part of a community of love and care. The opposite side of that coin is, we cannot have a Father without also having brothers and sisters.

If we all play our normal role in the family of God, we will all do so much better! I hope to see you every Sunday of the month.

The Lord bless you all

Jos Strengholt