Jumping the Fence

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 Posted by Katie

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Many years ago, I had regularly attended a Presbyterian Church in Evanston, IL. They were “debtors” (forgive us our “debts” as we also have forgiven our debtors). When I got married and moved out of state, Phillip and I joined a church of “trespassers” (forgive us our “trespasses”…).  One weekend, Phillip and I flew back to Evanston for the wedding of a friend and were totally outed when the Lord’s Prayer came along. Folks could hear us loud and clear. A wonderful and hilarious friend sitting in front of us turned around with a wry grin on his face and whispered a harsh accusation:“Trespassers!!”. Phillip and I laughed so hard, I believe one of us snorted. (Outed again.)

I find it interesting that when it comes to how Jesus teaches us to pray, it’s the verbiage about the fall from grace in which we differ. How true to life this is! We have different names for that which we judge, and they go far beyond the simple, “debtor”, “trespasser”, or, the ever-classic “sinner”.

It would do us all good to remember that when we pray as Jesus taught us to pray, we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

We are, all of us, indebted to him for the life he originally breathed into us on that first day, as much as we are indebted to him for the new life he has breathed into us every day following.

Without redemption, we are all trespassing in His Kingdom and missing out on the blessings that oneness with God brings.

Regardless of how you cut it, or what you call it, we are all sinners in need of giving and receiving Grace.

So while we Christians may debate our differences, we can at least take heart in what unifies us: the fact that we have all royally screwed up at one time or another. (Really, we have.) May we be ONE community when we pray, remembering that if ever any of us dares to approach the God of all creation with anything less than a repentant heart, we have essentially jumped the fence and are trespassing on hallowed ground.

No trespassing, folks. Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Then enjoy the Kingdom.

It was meant for you.

Have no fear little flock. For your Father has resolved to give you the Kingdom.” – Luke 12:32.

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