8.08.2011

The Lord's what?

Our family visited two different churches the Sundays we were away on vacation.  What?  You did not think vacation time meant time away from God's people, did you? This past Sunday we joined our usual congregation.  It felt like we had been away for an eternity.  We did miss everyone. 

As I had prepared for our first worship service back home I figured I had thought of everything: My welcome was done; the children's sermon, and the big children's sermon (/grin) was done; bulletins were fine--well, except for a couple of wrong dates.  As for the service, everything seemed set.

It was toward the end of the service I realized I had forgotten something.  We were ready to celebrate Holy Communion.  We followed the liturgy with ease and were about to spend a few moments in prayer together.  Our church has a booklet available for people to write in prayer requests each week that we include in our ongoing prayer list; we are small enough to still do that.  We call each name out, and then give the people who have gathered an opportunity to voice any other prayers.  Once those have been spoken I give a pastoral prayer that we conclude with the Lord's Prayer.  And that is what we did this past Sunday.  Then?

Whoops. 

First, let's get something straight.  I did not forget the Lord's Prayer.  It seems that two short weeks, though, can throw you off your rhythm.  Reciting the Lord's Prayer in church entails rhythm.  I had not thought of that at all.  Now, come to think of it the two churches we visited on vacation did not incorporate the Lord's Prayer into their worship services.  So, I went two weeks without speaking aloud those familiar words, and when the congregation around me began to pass me up I was glad I am in the habit of lowering my voice during the Lord's Prayer.  Actually, that is exactly why I do that.  If I mess up--and you know me--it seems like I would mess a lot more people up as well.

Who knows if anyone noticed my bumbling of Jesus' life plan.  Most are probably too nice to mention it.  Needless to say, the next time I am away I will remember to think about the Lord's Prayer before I come back.

What about you?  Does your church include the Lord's Prayer in its services?  How meaningful is that prayer to you?  Finally, have you ever messed up the Lord's Prayer in church, heathen?
Yea, I knew that!