Have any of you ever done an in-depth study of the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer Jesus taught his disciples? If you have, you will know that so much more is packed into every last word of that prayer than we typically think. Let’s just focus for a moment on the first two words: “Our Father.” Notice that Jesus doesn’t start with “My Father” or “Her Father” or “His Father.” He uses the plural possessive pronoun, “our.” A deep message is contained in those first two words, which communicates the universality of God’s love and care. When we pray “Our Father,” we cannot consciously or subconsciously reject our neighbor, even our neighbors who don’t look, think, talk, or act like we do. “Our Father” is radically inclusive of different races, socio-economic statuses, genders, religions, world geographic locales, and political affiliations. Our God is truly everyone’s God.
I wonder how different life would be if those in power truly modeled Jesus’ leadership style. Jesus, right up front in the Lord’s Prayer, communicates that God belongs to everyone—not just to one group. Jesus, the servant-leader, washes feet. Jesus, the servant-leader, preferentially spends time with and cares for the orphan, the outcast, the poor, and the sick. The deep message for Christ followers is that we must be sure our decisions and actions take into account the whole, not just the parts. That’s not always easy, but it is the Christian way. Blessings,