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“We” the church

By Ernesto Tinajero

William Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas start their book on the Lord’s Prayer, “Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & the Christian Life” by saying the first word of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our…” is the most radical because it calls for a community and not the individual. They certainly have a point. As I have seen my church rally around individuals with cancer by, praying, cooking dinners, offering support, I started to think of the nature of the “we.”

“We” is a powerful word that connotes a group of people unified in some manner. There are we’s built around sports teams, around the lust for guns, around common political positions and many other we’s. The we formed around a sports team or a love if an activity seem to be less strong. While I have seen groups like these rally around an individual, for the most part that is more out of the norm. We formed out of agreement like political groups, means the membership always resides in agreement.

Jesus sought a new we — one united by God’s love that followed through his followers to those around them, even their enemies. Jesus knew the challenges, which are still with us today, of humanity’s perchance for greed, selfishness, individualism and egotism. Jesus understood that for his way, the way of love, to triumphant, these sins would have to be overcome in our inner hearts. His prayer included the methods for overcoming these dark forces within us, forgiveness gratitude and humility. He knew that for his kingdom to come, these forces of love would have to battle self interest, greed and the black hearts of those who put their trust in the sword, guns and death. He knew the temptation to violence, greed and sin would be great and that on man alone could withstand its siren call. But with Jesus, we can form a we of love. For in Jesus we find the kind, the power and glory to withstand the hurricanes threatening us.

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