* A prayer to share with others * A prayer to make our own * Our Father - intimacy or exodus? * ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, "let my son go so that he may worship me".’ (Exodus 4: 22- 23) * Our Father -promise of freedom * "When we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come God sent his son…… to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father". So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." (Galatians 4:3-7)
* Israel and suffering * " Look down from heaven and see from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us. But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you Lord are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name." (Isaiah 63:15-16) * Jesus and suffering * ‘ My Father, if it is possible may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will,’… "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." (Matthew 26:39 and 42). * "Father into your hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).
‘We see Jesus ………..crowned with glory and honour because of the death he suffered. It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share his glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation. He purifies people from their sins, and both he and those who are made pure all have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family.’ (Hebrews 2:9-11) ‘Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death…..This means that he had to become like his people in every way, in order to be their faithful and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people's sins would be forgiven. And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered. (Hebrews 2: 14-15 and 17-18) Good News Bible
As we pass on the bread and wine let’s say: * The generosity of God (as we pass on the bread) * The life of Christ poured out for you (as we pass on the wine)