Will We See our Pets in Heaven?

I suspect that every pastor has been asked this question at one time or another, and it usually comes from one of the more junior members of the congregation who has just lost his beloved cat or dog. (The loss of goldfish seems not to provoke the same level of theological curiosity.) It is important for pastors to realize that the child asking the sometimes tearful question is not looking for theology,…

“What Can the Righteous Do?”

I sometimes find that it is very depressing not to live under a rock. If I lived under a rock, I would not know how bad things are progressing in the western world, but as it is, with newspapers, Facebook, and the six o’clock news, one gets a very full and depressing picture of how western civilization is currently faring. And the picture is not good. It is true that the media…

The Lord’s Prayer: The Final Doxology

For most English speaking people in our culture, the Lord’s Prayer ends with the words, “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” This is, however, an ecclesiastical and liturgical conclusion, not a part of the original Lord’s Prayer. That does not mean, of course, that the ekklesia should omit the ecclesiastical conclusion in the interest of exegesis or liturgical archaeology. Arguably the Lord gave His disciples…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Lead Us Not into Temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil”

The next petition in the Lord’s Prayer is, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. These two conjoined sentences should be considered as a single petition in Hebrew poetic parallelism, like the earlier petition, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, because in the Lukan version we read only “lead us not into temptation”. It is unlikely that Luke’s version would omit…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive Us our Trespasses”

We come now in our series on the Lord’s Prayer to the petition, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. This rendering could perhaps use a little help. It might be more accurately and literally rendered, “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors”. It is a brief enough petition, but within it hide two bits of counsel for us as we strive to live…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Give Us This Day our Daily Bread”

We continue with our examination of the Lord’s Prayer, and come now to the petition, “Give us today our daily bread”. One might be tempted to wonder what one could say about this petition by way of elaboration or explanation, since it seems pretty straightforward. I suggest, however, three things. First of all, that little word, “daily”. The Greek is επιουσιος/ epiousios. It is a rare enough word that Origen thought that…