Day 9, March 22, 2020
“The Children of God”
There is a little chorus of praise that is a favorite of mine:
Behold what manner of love the Father has given us
Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us
That we should be called the children of God
That we should be called the children of God.
The song comes from I John 3:1. We would often sing it in a round, with one group starting and then a second joining in. To have the words of God’s love echoing back and forth is a very special blessing. We need to be reminded that as children of God we are deeply and dearly loved.
When we were in Jerusalem in 2011 one of our stops was The Church of The Pater Noster. Pater Noster in Latin means “Our Father”. The church, which is Roman Catholic, has 60 panels. Each panel has The Lord’s Prayer in a different language. There is even a panel in Braille.
We attended a worldwide mission conference when we were in college in 1981. 17,000 students were challenged to share the word of Christ around the world. We came home from that conference convinced God was calling us to pastoral work. Our friend Dave came home convinced God was calling him to help translate the bible so that every person would be able to read the bible in their own language. He became a translator with Wycliffe Bible Translators and served in Nepal for many years. Through Wycliffe and other organizations, the entire bible has been translated into 670 languages. The New Testament has been translated into 1,521 languages.
There our group was, in Jerusalem, at The Church of the Pater Noster, surrounded by the Lord’s Prayer in some 60 languages. In every language the prayer begins, “Our Father….” Together in the garden of The Church of the Pater Noster we began to sing, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God.” We were all singing in the same language. Can you imagine people from 60 different languages standing before the panels at the Church of the Pater Noster and each singing about the love of our Father in Heaven in their own language? Can you imagine how powerful it would be to hear 60 different people together praying, “Our Father…” in 60 different languages? And what if we could gather 1,521 people together representing all the languages of the New Testament as it is currently translated. We might almost think we had arrived in heaven, to hear so many voices, in so many languages, all praying together to our One God, our One Father, through his One Beloved Son, united by the One Spirit of God.
I am saddened and troubled by reports that some are choosing division and even racist remarks and attacks during these difficult days of the Coronavirus. We are all in this together. We are all children of the One God who created the Heavens and the Earth. Today we will worship alone. Let us remember that even though we worship alone, we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We are a part of the Body of Christ. And that makes us brothers and sisters with people from all corners of this world. We all have the same Father in heaven. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God. Let us pray together…
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
With the love of Christ,
A closing thought…
If you know this prayer in a different language, I encourage you to respond to this post with the Lord’s Prayer in that other language. It will certainly be a wonderful blessing and an important reminder that the name of the Lord is worshiped in a multitude of languages.