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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 8, 2011

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 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."
      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.

      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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