The Lord’s prayer frames congregational connection with God. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” one part of it can be said almost without thinking through the implications. Brian D McLaren is right in his book Naked Spirituality when he writes about the second part of that line being overshadowed by the first. Most churches have a communal confession but as McLaren notes no church has a regular prayer for those wounded, apart from the Lord’s Prayer. As Fr Richard Rohr puts it, “Pain that isn’t processed is passed on. Pain that isn’t transformed is transmitted.” As Rob Bell so visibly portrayed in the Nooma video “Luggage” if we hold on to a hurt then we are burdened with carrying heavy baggage around with us throughout life. It restricts living life to the full and eventually wears us down.
So if we let go of the baggage by dealing with the issue, and offering it to God then the potential for freedom is ours. We can become like spring lambs again, leaping with the freedom of life. Open to the vastness of the universe, no longer cocooned by our constrained world. The freedom comes from both parts of the line of the Lord’s prayer, confession and an acknowledgement of woundedness. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Image by Doug Burke via twelvebaskets.