Daily Reflection
October 9th, 2002
 Mike Cherney
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Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14
Psalm 117:1, 2
Luke 11:1-4

In Paul's letter it is clear the issues regarding the practicalities of the conversion of the Gentiles are not completely settled.  I find consolation in recognizing the conflict and uncertainty that has been part of the Church since its earliest times.  I can easily put myself into the role of the early Jewish Christians and question the Gentile Christian Church.  I can see myself becoming frustrated with what I feel is the secularization of an institution that has become part of my life and tradition.  Fearful knowing that radical concerns over secularization allow some to fly airplanes into buildings, I still do not find it easy to reconcile a changing world, changing institutions and a changing Church.  I can see these come to questions of core values.  I can also see that from the beginning there have been questions as to what is part of these values and what is part of the tradition that has served us in the past.  Like the early Jewish Christians, I feel that my institutions are no longer what they were.  I worry we have given way to political expediency.  Change is difficult, particularly when it involves areas where I have invested a large amount of time, faith and emotional effort.  The Church and her institutions do evolve, two thousand years ago with Paul having an impact reforming the membership of the church, and today.

The Gospel reading gives Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer.  I gain an insight into the differences between Matthew and Luke's accounts.  I suddenly recognize that this formulation, which is less familiar to me, includes the words known to my Presbyterian colleagues.  I am brought back to my thoughts on the first reading.  In the two versions of the Lord's Prayer we share a common message.  The core values expressed are the same.  My mind seems to be wired so that I notice the differences while taking for granted the shared content.  I find it interesting that in giving his most famous lesson on prayer, Jesus gives us a communal prayer. We share a common parent in our God, a God who provides, protects and forgives.

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