Wine Before Breakfast
Wycliffe College Chapel, 5 Hoskin Ave
You’ve all heard the saying, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.”
Well there are corollary insights to that one. For example, the most holy the place, the most profane and idolatrous can be its distortion. The principle is pretty simple. The goodness of a thing, its significance and meaning, will have a proportional evil when it is misdirected, ideologically deformed.
Perhaps the most important example of this principle in Scripture is that when the creature who is created and called to bear the “image of God” rejects that call the only possible result is the demonic power of “graven images” or idols in human life.
Well, this principle of proportionality also works for prayer. I mean what is more sacred in human life than prayer? What time is more holy than time in prayer? When do we get the closest in our relationship with God than in prayer? And when, therefore, do we come to a most honest and truthful understanding of ourselves than when we stand (or kneel) before God in prayer?
And yet there is more bullshit in prayer than perhaps in any other dimension of our lives! There is more posturing, more hypocrisy, more self-centredness and more ideological self-justification going on in prayer than anywhere else. Or at least sometimes it seems that way to me.
Again, the deeper the goodness of a thing, the deeper is its distortion.
So it is not surprising that Jesus takes time in his Sermon on the Mount to instruct his followers of what prayer looks like in the Kingdom of God. He strips them (and us) of the pretense and hypocrisy as he strips down prayer to its bare essentials.
As a community of prayer, as a community that comes together every Tuesday morning with our thanksgivings and our petitions, as a community that prays a Eucharistic prayer every week, we do well to pause and listen to Jesus on one of those very few occasions when he actually teaches about prayer. And we will again follow his example as we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name ….”
Wine Before Breakfast
Tuesday @ 7.22am in Wycliffe Chapel
David Neelands will be preaching and presiding.