Prayer: To Whom Shall We Go? Luke 11:1-13

PanentheismJesus’ teaching on prayer in the gospel text Luke 11:1-13 begs the question: “To Whom Shall We Go?” Liberated from perceptions that reduce images of the MYSTERY we call God to those of a cosmic superhero, who abides up or out there ready to manipulate events here in the world at the request of those who pray, the activity of prayer takes on a whole new meaning and shape. Our images of who, where and what the MYSTERY is will direct our prayers in ways that impact our expectations of prayer. Who do we pray to and what we expect of the ONE who hears our prayers will shape how and why we pray.

Before we can even begin to understand what so much of the Christian tradition means when it talks about praying to God, we need to take a step back and look at what we mean when we say the word “god.” Throughout the Jewish and Christian traditions you can trace two very distinct ways of understanding and talking about the MYSTERY that we call God. Continue reading

Prayer: To Whom Shall We Go? Luke 11:1-13

PanentheismJesus’ teaching on prayer in the gospel text Luke 11:1-13 begs the question: “To Whom Shall We Go?” Liberated from perceptions that reduce images of God to those of a cosmic superhero who abides up or out there ready to manipulate events here in the world at the request of those who pray, the activity of prayer takes on a whole new meaning and shape. Our images of who, where and what God is will direct our prayers in ways that impact our expectations of prayer. Who do we pray to and what we expect of the One who hears our prayers will shape how and why we pray.

Before we can even begin to understand what so much of the Christian tradition means when it talks about praying to God, we need to take a step back and look at what we mean when we say the word “god.” Throughout the Jewish and Christian traditions you can trace two very distinct ways of understanding and talking about God. Continue reading

Jesus Through a 21st Century Lens: Michael Morwood

imageI first became aware of Michael Morwood several years ago when I was looking for prayer resources that did not use anthropomorphic images of God as if the Divine is some far off character who lives somewhere out or up there waiting for us to speak the correct incantations or pass judgement prior to intervening on our behalf. We can talk, preach, teach and even insist that God is not an old angry bearded guy in the sky, but if our liturgies, prayers and hymns continue to beseech mercy from the Lord we will continue to inscribe an anthropomorphic deity upon the hearts and in the minds of thoseimage few worshipers who continue to worship in our sanctuaries while generations of our neighbours continue to reject our sacred assemblies. Michael Morwood’s little book Praying a New Story gave me the courage to begin creating more sources for worship that move beyond theism. Since then I learned so much from Morwood as I have read all of his books, especially: God Is Near, Is Jesus God and his latest, It’s Time. I’m convinced that Morwood’s thirty years as a parish priest have provided him with the necessary insights to articulate Christianity in ways that 21st century Christians can understand. The videos below feature Michael Morwood doing just that. I encourage you to take the time to listen and learn from this brilliant theologian.

Preparing to Preach on Prayer: To Whom Shall We Go?

PanentheismAs I continue to work on this Sunday’s sermon, (see earlier posts here and here) Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the gospel text Luke 11:1-13 begs the question: “To Whom Shall We Go?” Liberated from perceptions that reduce images of God to those of a cosmic superhero who abides up or out there ready to manipulate events here in the world at the request of those who pray, the activity of prayer takes on a whole new meaning and shape. Our images of who, where and what God is will direct our prayers in ways that impact our expectations of prayer. Who do we pray to and what we expect of the One who hears our prayers will shape how and why we pray.

Before we can even begin to understand what so much of the Christian tradition means when it talks about praying to God, we need to take a step back and look at what we mean when we say the word “god.” Throughout the Jewish and Christian traditions you can trace two very distinct ways of understanding and talking about God. Continue reading