What are our hopes for our community?
This week we hear the story of Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray. It is a prayer many of us will be familiar with, even if we don't go to church. The Lord's Prayer, or the Our Father in some communities, has been memorized and repeated millions and millions of times since Jesus first taught it to his disciples. It is often spoken in the context of a large communal worship gathering, and for good reason. While we might think of the Lord's Prayer as something to prayer in solitude for one's own needs, the wording of the prayer reveals something completely different, because none of the pronouns in the prayer are singular. Plural pronouns are used all the way through. "Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive."
Rather than a prayer for individual wellness this is a prayer for communal wellness and prosperity, for communal guidance and wisdom, for communal reconciliation and love. For God's kingdom to come would mean that everyone would have daily bread, everyone would forgive and be forgiven, everyone would be saved from trials. So when Jesus teaches his disciples to pray it is not for their own needs, but for the needs of their community and the world.
This week, pay attention to your community, however you might define it. What are your hopes for your community? What would it look like for everyone to thrive, be reconciled, and be at peace? Who are the people working to make that a reality? How can you help them?