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351Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2005

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    May 7, 2005
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      Chi 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."
      Matthew 6:9

      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
      world history.

      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
      to contemplate.

      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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