By now I shouldn’t be surprised by the wisdom and spiritual insight of the kids of Dunbar UMC, but so often, when they open their mouths, I am amazed (in a good way!) at what comes out. Today in Children’s Church, we talked about prayer, and more specifically, the Lord’s Prayer. We went through the prayer, line by line, and they shared what they thought each part of the prayer meant. Normally, we have a hands-on activity that goes along with the message, but today, we didn’t even get to it because they were so engaged in the conversation about the Lord’s Prayer. While in some cases, I had to provide explanations for words like “hallowed” or “trespasses,” they had a pretty clear picture of what is happening in the Lord’s Prayer. So here, to the best of my memory, are some of the things they had to offer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…
God is like our dad from heaven.
God is our father and he has a place for us in heaven.
So hallowed means like God’s love is whole.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
So, like we are God’s kingdom and we try to make things here like it is in heaven.
God created heaven and earth.
God wants earth to be happy like heaven.
God want us to show his love.
Give us this day our daily bread…
It means God gives us life.
It’s like Communion when he said, ‘The bread is my body.’
Jesus gives us his bread every Sunday and it’s so good!
God helps us every day.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…
If someone is mean and bullies us, it means that we should forgive them and that God wants to forgive them.
It means we need to tell God we are sorry when we are mean, and when someone says they are sorry to us, we just forgive them.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…
Help us do the right things.
Protect us from the devil and the way he wants to trick us.
Help us not do things we know we shouldn’t.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
God and heaven are forever.
God loves us forever.
This is God’s kingdom and it is forever.
I know there was more wisdom they had to offer but these are the words I remember. I could now theologize and reflect on their ideas in greater depth, but I think instead it is better to sit with the simplicity and clarity of the words they offer us. May they speak to you as they do to me.