351Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2005
- May 7, 2005Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2005
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our new book
of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved:
One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
The Great Prayer
Jesus said, "Pray then like this: Our Father who art
in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."
The Lord's Prayer, often called the Great Prayer,
has energized and encouraged people of faith
throughout the centuries. If you have ever
struggled with prayer, this prayer taught by
Jesus can guide chaotic, scattered thoughts and
feelings. By praying this great prayer, we change
the world and ourselves, while experiencing a
divine connection different from any other.
The first section of the prayer names God, and
compares the role of God to that of a parent. But
as a woman, I struggle to find feminine, inclusive,
loving, and intimate names for the Divine. I wish
with all my heart that Jesus had used a feminine
name for God in this great prayer. Yet I realize
through this profound prayer, he was ahead of his
time while also being a product of his time in
By praying a tender, intimate, male parental name
for God, Jesus was remarkably bold. By using such
a personal holy name in prayer, Jesus invited seekers
into a Divine relationship never before experienced.
But Jesus was also pragmatic and understood the
limited understanding of the listeners in his
patriarchal culture. He lived during a primitive
time when women were considered property and valued
for their breeding abilities, not spiritual
leadership. By using a masculine parental name
for God, he offered a culturally relevant bridge
that encouraged a stepping stone to the Sacred.
Had he used a feminine Divine name, the people he
was striving to reach would have refused to listen
to him. It would have been too outrageous for them
But in today's world, we can use any variety of sacred
names in our prayers. These names are not limited to
male parental images and as a result, seekers from
many backgrounds experience breakthroughs to the Holy.
Through our life experiences, training, and memories
we will discover our own cherished holy names for the
Sacred as we pray.
"My God, You are a Spirit, neither male or female.
You have been my Father for so many years, today I
ask to know you as Mother. You are too vast to fit
into only one compartment. How foolish of us to
confine you to one image. It feels uncomfortable
to call you Mother. They have spoken of you as
Father for centuries. Yet I have always wondered
how there could be a father without a mother. How
is it that the feminine face of God has been obscured
for so long? They tell me now that there is a God
who looks like me. It's hard to take it all in."
(Vardey, Lucinda. Editor. "The Flowering of the
Soul: A Book of Prayers by Women,"pp. 45-46.)
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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