The Turning Point

Photo by Roger Bradshaw on Unsplash

The Liturgy as Narrative

Part VIII

Act II Scene V

The Lord’s Prayer

“My whole life flashed before my eyes…”

You’ve probably had one of those moments when something happened so suddenly and so out of your control, when you talk about it you say, “My whole life flashed before my eyes.”

It’s such a great ironic phrase because we only say it when we think our life is coming to a quick end, but we can only say it when our life doesn’t end.

In the liturgical narrative we just experienced the dark night of the soul. Jesus warned his disciples of his impending death and a betrayer among them. He offers them “The Last Supper.” In the liturgy we call it, “The Lord’s Supper” because it wasn’t the end. The irony is the Lord’s Supper would have no meaning without the Last Supper. If Jesus doesn’t die and rise again then he isn’t God and can’t offer salvation. Making the supper pointless.

The disciples, in their dark moment, thought Jesus’ death was the end and they scattered.

The Narrative

The next section has a boring title. It’s sometimes called “The Break Into 3.” It’s when the hero, after failing completely, finds new hope to go after their goal. Many times this part of the story is accompanied by a flashback. The hero remembers something and we get to see it happen again.

The next part in the liturgy is the Lord’s Prayer and it harkens back to a better time for the disciples compared to the night Jesus was betrayed. We’ve been progressing forward in the liturgy, building on God’s story and our place in it. We’ve confessed our sin, praised God, heard from His Word, confessed our faith, and offered our gifts, but now we have to take a step back.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of what we learned in the liturgy and instructs us on how to apply it going forward.

The prayer is short and easy to memorize which makes it imperative on us as Christians to slow down and think about the words we are saying. The Lord’s Prayer brings us hope in a life constantly trying to steal hope from us. [1]For a straightforward and simple explanation of the prayer, you can read Luther’s explanation in the Small Catechism Luther’s Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther (cph.org)

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come,
They will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.

Luke 11:1-4, Matthew 6:7-13

In a movie, after the flashback, you might see the mentor reappear in the hero’s mind to repeat some word of wisdom. The Pastor does much the same. Once the Lord’s Prayer has ended he turns to the congregation and says;

The Pax Domini

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

And the congregation responds

Amen

With our hope restored we can now face the last challenge.

References

1 For a straightforward and simple explanation of the prayer, you can read Luther’s explanation in the Small Catechism Luther’s Small Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther (cph.org)
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