Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2011
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2011
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
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 taught, "Pray then in this way: Our Father in
heaven, hallowed be your 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.
Over the next couple of days, we will examine each
part of this prayer. 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). Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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