Monday, March 15, 2010

And Deliver us from Evil

It's all sort of right there in the words, isn't it. Deliver us from evil. Protect us from all the forces, physical, spiritual or otherwise, today, tomorrow or in the bigger sense of eternity, that mean to do us harm, that want to destroy us. Mean people, atomic bombs, the Devil -- it's all there.

"Us" is pretty broad, too -- it can mean all at the same time me, my worshipping community, all believers and everybody. And that's a good thing. It's not by accident that we say Our Father all together -- we're more than monads here, little individual self-contained units, we're part of a world. And in this moment, as throughout the Our Father, the things we're asking are for all of us. Joanna down the street, she might not be talking to God or even think that such a thing makes any sense at all, but she's just as important as you or me, and nobody wants to see anything bad happen to her, either. So deliver her from evil, God. And so on.

The point being, we're holding up the needs of the whole world here. It's like they say about Heaven -- it's not Heaven until everybody's there. No one's been delivered if some of us are still being tortured in Kabul. Not really.

So deliver us already!

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