Our Father. Father …
Here is the first issue of the Prayer of the Lord. This is the prayer that Christ Himself taught us. The disciples of Christ saw how He prayed and asked Him to teach them to pray too. And Christ taught us what He does.
This issue is dedicated to the first word of this prayer – “Father”.
Get ready to read
Be silent for a minute or two so that, as stated in the prayer book, to calm all your feelings and tune in to prayer and reading the Scriptures. Do not switch between the tabs and do not think about business.
In Church Slavonic
Lord Jesus Christ, open your ears, hear your word, and understand and do your will, as a stranger am upon the earth: not a scorn of your commandments, but my eyes open, that I may understand the wonders of your law; tell me the unknown and the secret of thy wisdom. I hope in Thee, O my God, yes, enlighten the mind and sense with the light of your mind not only written in honor, but I also create, but I cannot read the saints of life and words to myself, but in the update, and the enlightenment, and the shrine, and the salvation of the soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. Yako thou art enlighten those who lie in darkness and from You is every gift of good and every gift is perfect. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, open to me my heart’s ears, so that when I hear Your Word, I understand it and do Your will, because I am a stranger on earth. Do not hide your commandments from me, but open my eyes, so that I may comprehend the miracles of your law. Tell me your unknown and secret wisdom. I trust in You, my God, and I believe that You will enlighten my mind and meaning with the light of the knowledge of You, and that then I will not only read what is written, but also fulfill it. Make me not read my Word for sin, but in renewal and in enlightenment, and in shrine, and in the salvation of the soul, and in the inheritance of eternal life. For You, Lord, are those who lie in darkness, and from You are every good gift and every perfect gift. Amen.
Read the Lord’s Prayer
9 Pray thus: Our Father in heaven! hallowed be thy name;
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven;
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Slowly re-read the appeal to God: Our Father in Heaven, and think about these words for two or three minutes:
After that, answer the questions (better in writing)
Questions for Thought
What caught your attention in these words? Why?
After answering the questions, read:
Cultural and historical reference The Old Testament glorifies God primarily as the Creator of heaven and Earth, the King and Righteous Judge. He emphasizes His power and otherness towards people. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your paths are My ways, says the Lord. But as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. " (Is.55: 8.9). And if the mention of God as the Creator, the Judge, Who judges by righteous judgment and the King, who reigns over Israel and will reign over the whole world, is found on almost every page of the Old Testament, then in the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament you can find only five appeals to God as to the Father.
Against this background, those places of the New Testament, where Christ, addressing the disciples, calls God “your Father”, are striking. It sounds constantly, for example: “your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matt.6: 8) “So be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt.5: 48) “Do not call anyone on earth your father, for one is your Father, who is in heaven” (Matt.23: 9), “Fear not, little flock! for your Father was gracious to give you the kingdom. "(Luk.12: 32)," See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we may be called and be children of God. " (1 John 3: 1), "Go to my brothers and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." (John.20: 17) All these words are addressed to the disciples of Christ to those who follow Christ and heed him – then they began to call these people Christians. It is their Christ who teaches us in prayer to turn to God, as to the Father – just as He Himself turns to Him. The intimacy with God that is inherent in these words is unusual and bold, and we can turn to God like that only because He himself gives us this opportunity. That is why, before singing the Lord's prayer at the Liturgy, we ask: “And reward us, Vladyka, with boldness, unconvincingly estimate the call upon You, the heavenly Father God, and verb …” You can find out more here.
Question for reflection and discussion
Why do we, as Christians, have the audacity to call God Father?
Read the following passages, answer the questions and write your answers.
Gospel of john chapter 1
9 There was a true Light that enlightens every man that comes into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world through him began to be, and the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.
12 But to those who received him, who believed in his name, he gave authority to be sons of God,
13 who were not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of her husband, but were born of God.
Questions to the first passage
What does this passage say?
What is said here about how a person becomes a child of God?
Romans, chapter 8
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10 And if Christ is in you, then the body is dead for sin, but the spirit is alive for righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh;
13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 Because you did not accept the spirit of slavery, (so) again (to live) in fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, with which we cry: “Abba, Father!”
16 This very Spirit testifies to our spirit, that we are the children of God.
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ, if only with Him we suffer, so that we can be glorified with Him.
Questions to the second passage
What role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of Christians?
What do you think and feel when you read that we are the heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ?
Questions to both passages
Is there anything incomprehensible to you in these passages?
What attracts your attention to them? Why?
What do they say about why we can call God Father?
Read one or more interpretations:
Cyprian of Carthage
Metropolitan Anthony Surozhsky
St. Nicholas the Serbian
Interpretation of Cyprian of Carthage
Pray, it is said, so: Our Father in heaven! A new man, born again and restored by his God, by His grace, first of all says: Father, because he became His son. He came, – said, – to his own, and his own did not receive Him. And those who received him, believing in his name, gave the power to be sons of God (John 1: 11-12). So, whoever believed in His name and became a son of God, he must begin by giving thanks and confessing himself to be a son of God, calling him the Father of God; from the very beginning of his rebirth, testify with the words that he refused the earthly and carnal father and began to know and have one Father Who is in heaven according to the Scripture: he says about his father and his mother: “I don’t look at them” and brothers she does not recognize her, and does not know her sons; for they keep thy words, and keep thy covenant (Deut. 33.9). And the Lord in His Gospel commands us not to call our father on earth, because we have one Father in heaven (Matthew 23, 9). Also to the disciple who mentioned the dead father, the Lord answered: let the dead bury their dead. (Matt. 8, 22). He said that his father died, while the father of the believers was alive.<…> Oh, what a condescension for us, what an abundance of the goodwill and goodness of the Lord, when He allowed us to call God Father when making a prayer in the face of God, and call ourselves the sons of God just as Christ is the Son of God! None of us would dare use this name in prayer, if He Himself would not allow us to pray like that. In calling God Father, we must remember and know, beloved brothers, that we should and act like the sons of God, so that we ourselves rejoice in God the Father, so He rejoices in us. Let us dwell as temples of God, that it may be seen that God dwells in us. May our actions not be unworthy of the spirit: having begun to be heavenly and spiritual, we will think and do only the spiritual and heavenly, having in mind what God said: I will glorify those who glorify Me, and those who do not praise Me will be confounded. (1 Sam. 2, 30) – and written by the blessed apostle in his Epistle: you are not your own. For you are bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your soul (1 Cor. 6, 19-20).
Metropolitan Anthony Surozhsky
St. Nicholas the Serbian Go to the next stage
Metropolitan Anthony Surozhsky
The first thing that surprises me, that surprises me in ourselves, surprises in others: when we talk about our Father, we always think that it is a prayer that we all believers, Orthodox or people of the same church, or members of one family, express, together ; and I still didn’t meet anyone who would feel that when Christ told us our Father, He said that this was His Father – and ours, this as if anticipating the moment when later, during the Gospel story, He He called the disciples his friends. This is a wonderful thing, it is a shocking thing, because if we were to say that we would acknowledge the Fatherhood of God for us, that would be so much already; but when we think that this fatherhood includes the One-Son of God, that fatherhood in this crying puts us and Him in the same position with respect to God the Father, it is something that I think is so exciting, so deep … Fatherhood is special properties. The father is the one who is the source of our life. The father is the one who brings up this life in us, but brings up with the strict demands of godless love, who is not ready to go to any compromises and demands from us that we should be what we are for, who is not satisfied with anything that is lower our dignity. For example, take a parable about the prodigal son. You remember how the prodigal son, coming to his senses, goes back to his father's house. And on the way, he repeats for himself – not just what he memorizes, but prayer cries in his soul: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am not worthy to be called your son; Take me as one of your mercenaries … This is the cry of the soul, this is not a repetition of what he will say to his father – he feels this all the time and goes to his father, despite his unworthy life. Although he is unworthy, but he knows that his father remained a father, that love did not hesitate even when his son said to him: “I cannot wait for the moment of your death in order to start living. Let's agree: die for me, give me that portion of the wealth that I would receive after your physical death, we will be convinced that you are no more … ”“ Even then, my father did not say a word of reproach, but simply gave him his share of the property and let him go with the world . And so, recalling this, the young man goes home exactly to his father – not to the judge, not to a stranger, not in the hope that he "may be" taken. This word "father" means that he has not yet died hope. But did you notice that when he wants to pronounce his confession before his father’s face, his father does not allow him to say the last words. Son: Father, I have sinned against heaven and in front of you, I am not worthy to be called your son … – and then his father stops: son or daughter may be unworthy children of his father or mother, but in no way can they distort their relationship to a relationship worthy mercenaries or slaves. The father cannot accept him as a mercenary, as a slave, he can only accept him as a son: repentant – yes, unworthy in his behavior – yes; but as a son and not otherwise. And so, it is terribly important for us that God never accepts us to be below our level. This is the fatherhood of God. And when in this context we think about the fact that Christ gives us this prayer and our Father says, then we will express what we should represent. If we are really the brothers and sisters of the Son of God of the One, who became the son of man, then the measure of our humanity is no less. We must be icons of Christ; and more than icons: we must be so akin to Christ, so that everything that can be said about Christ, in due time, when everything is completed, can be said about us. And this is not a frivolous remark from my side, because there is a place in the writings of St. Ipineus of Lyons, where he says (this is not an exact quotation, but I will pass on to his thought) that, when the end of the time comes, all of humanity is in union with the Single Son of God by the power of the Holy Ghost will become the only son of God. The border between the only Son of God and the children of God is erased by grace, because our unity with Christ will be the whole of humanity before the Person of God, and in the center of this saved and reached its fullness of the whole of humanity when God is all in all (1 Cor.15,28) – The name of Jesus is Christ.
Thus, when we say our Father, we must understand that we take upon ourselves this incomprehensible title and readiness for this incomprehensible state that we are not only Christians in humanity, but that nothing less than the completeness of Christ’s image is not enough so that we are completely ourselves. This requires a lot. This is not asking God to do for us what we do not do for ourselves or for Him; it is a plea to the fact that we are heroic in the search for that completeness, which, of course, we cannot achieve on our own, but which is our statement; and we do not have the right to think about ourselves below this, we must be humble enough to accept this greatness and to bow down before it – yes, but also to fulfill it. And if you ask the question about how this can be done, I will answer this with the words that the Lord told the Apostle Paul when he asked for strength in order to carry out his work. The Lord said to him: My grace overwhelms you, my strength in weakness is accomplished (my grace is enough for you, for my strength is done in weakness) (2 P. 12.9).
And of course, the weakness that is spoken of here is not our laziness, not our inertia, not our cowardice, but this is the frailness that is made transparent to the influence of the Divine, which is made flexible in the hand of God when we surrender to God with faith and faith. in obedience. So, as the Savior said in the Gospel, the impossible to man is possible to God (Lk.18: 27).
And these words are simple, so familiar: Our Father, we are suddenly put before the face of our friendship with Christ and the incomprehensible greatness of our greeting, and the conviction that this greeting can be filled with the power of Divine grace, if only we give ourselves to God just as I said flexibility, transparency, obedience.
And here I would like to say that obedience is not obedience, sweetness; it is the condition of a person who, with all the forces of his being — mind and heart and everything — listens: listens to the voice of his conscience, listens to the word of the gospel, listens to the mysterious voice of the Holy Spirit, who with inexpressible moans (sighing inexpressible) (Rome, 8.26) speaks in him or in minutes with clarity teaches him to speak to Heavenly Father Abba, Father (Rom.8: 15).
Cyprian of Carthage
St. Nicholas the Serbian Go to the next stage
St. Nicholas the Serbian
When the heavens rumble and the oceans roar, they call You: the Lord of hosts is our, Lord of the heavenly powers! When the stars fall and fire breaks out of the earth, they say to you: Our Creator!
When in the spring the flowers open the buds, and the larks collect dry blade of grass to make a nest for their chicks, they sing to you: Our lord!
And when I look up to Your throne, I whisper to You: Our Father!
There was a time, a long and terrible time, when people also called You the Lord of Hosts, or the Creator, or the Lord! Yes, then man felt that he was only a creature among the creatures. But now, thanks to Your Only Begotten and Greatest Son, we have learned Your real name. Therefore, I, together with Jesus Christ, decide to call You: Father!
If I call You: Vladyko, I fear, prostrate before You, as a slave in a crowd of slaves.
If I call You: Creator, I move away from You, as the night separates from the day, or as the leaf comes off its tree.
If I look at You and say to You: Sir, then I am like a stone among the stones or a camel among the camels.
But if I open my mouth and whisper: Father, love will take the place of fear, the earth will become closer to heaven, and I will go for a walk with You, as with a friend, in the garden of this light and share Your glory, Your power, Your sufferings.
Our Father! You are the Father to us all, and I would humiliate both You and myself if I called You: My Father!
Our Father! You take care not only of me, of one single blade, but of everyone and everything in the world. Your goal is your kingdom, not one person. Self-love in me calls for You: My Father, but love cries out: Our Father!
In the name of all the people, my brothers, I pray: Our Father!
In the name of all the creatures that surround me and with which You have woven my life, I pray to You: Our Father!
Я молю Тебя, Отец вселенной, лишь об одной вещи я молю Тебя: пусть скорее наступит рассвет того дня, когда Тебя все люди, живые и мертвые, вместе с ангелами и звездами, зверями и камнями, будут называть Твоим истинным именем: Отче наш!
Вы можете найти другие толкования здесь.
Ответьте на вопросы
Когда я называю Бога Отцом, что это для меня значит и к чему меня это ведет?
Подведите итоги Что оказалось для меня самым важным при размышлении над Писанием и знакомстве с толкованием и культурно-исторической справкой? Поблагодарите Бога за это. Домашнее задание Вариант 1. Каждый день в течении недели размышляйте над тем, в чем Бог проявляет Свое Отцовство по отношению к нам, и записывайте результаты своих размышлений. Вариант 2. Напишите по итогам ваших размышлений над вопросами, толкованиями, отрывками из Писания небольшое эссе на тему «Отцовство Божие». Пишите о том, что об этом говорится в Писании, что вы думаете об этом, что это значит для вас и подкрепляйте свои размышления Писанием и Отцами. Материал подготовила Татьяна Зайцева, редактор раздела Евангельских групп
Следующий выпуск: Почему не «мой Отче», а «наш»?
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