Part five in a series on using the Lord's Prayer as a roadmap to mission.
I'm slowly working my way through the Lord's Prayer as a roadmap to missional living. Do you want to catch up? Here you go:
I am always amazed by how full my calendar is. I have dates on there months into the future. It's crazy! This reality makes it very difficult to live in the moment. I am often thinking, planning, worrying, and dreaming about the future. Today is not something that I often pay attention to.
I live in the future.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray told them to pray, “Give us today the food we need.” He didn't tell them to pray for weeks, days, month, or years of good. Today's food is what he told them to pray for, even demand. The “give” here is an imperative, it is a command, not a request.
What is going on here with this bit of prayer and how could it possibly relate to mission?
This goes back to the issue of presence as opposed to program. I think what Jesus is saying here is to be aware of the needs of the moment. What is happening around you? Be present in the here and now, don't miss what is going on right here and right now.
We need daily food. It's a necessity. When we don't for a day, we notice.
Often I get busy and focused on work that I forget to eat. I become consumed with my thoughts and plans. This focus is great because it allows me to create and produce. But, if I continue to forget to eat all of that would be naught.
When it comes to mission we, particularly leaders of congregations and communities, get so focused on our concepts of success that we miss the moment. We often don't see the hurting and the pain in our midst. It becomes easy to not see what is going in our most immediate communities, our families and close friends.
Why do you think so many pastors get divorced or have to leave the ministry to work on their marriages?
If we can't be present with our families how can we expect to truly be present with the congregation or our neighborhoods or our communities?
To be on mission with Jesus is to be present in the moment. Our body can't be in the future even if our mind can be. We must work hard to bring unity to the mind and body. To be an embodied presence our minds must be in the moment.
So, we pray, “Give us today the food we need.”
Body and mind united, in the present.
This is easier said than done. So, we pray, “Give us today the food we need.” And we pray it every single day.