Today, following the first 100 days of President Trump’s inauguration, we offer a non-partisan invitation to focus on a phrase from a familiar prayer:
“and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
Most days we pray the prayer without much reflection. Like many other things we repeat by rote memory, we give little thought to temptation or the need to be delivered from evil. But today the phrase calls out for deeper self-examination and reflection about the world in which we live.
“This was the most divisive speech I’ve ever heard from a sitting American president,” said Republican former advisor to four presidents David Gergen in response to President Trump’s speech celebrating his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“He treated [those who are disturbed about him or oppose him] basically as ‘I don’t care, I don’t give a damn what you think, because you’re frankly like the enemy,'” said Gergen. “I think it was a deeply disturbing speech.”
The Lord’s Prayer (aka “the Our Father” and “the Jesus Prayer”) will be prayed in churches throughout the world today.
“Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven…”
“Forgive us our sins (the acts and states of mind that separate/divide us from/ hurt others) as we forgive those who sin against us.”
“Lead us not into temptation (or “the time of testing”/”time of trial”), but deliver us from evil.”
Amen. May it be so! Lord, save us, and the world You love, from our worst selves.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, April 30, 2017.