God, you are The Supreme Existence. We, and all creation, are in you; and you are in us. “Father” is not who you are, as much as Cosmos, or perhaps, Supreme Lover of Souls. You exist in what we call “heaven” because we have no language which fits time outside of time and being beyond life…so we say “heaven” for the want of some other, better word. Also we anticipate eternity as a commune of Christianity so that others are not allowed in. Sort of like a divine country club. But that is ridiculous.
Your greatness is un-nameable so we call you “hallowed” as a place-holder. It sounds better than “the great and powerful Oz.”
We want your justice and mercy to flow on earth, which is what we mean when we say “kingdom” and when we ask that “it come.” But pretend we are Lords and Ladies and we really we absolutely adore kings and queens, Archdeacons, Canons, Deans and Bishops. We like our royalty, super-heros and rock stars because they make us feel protected, which is so terribly far from the truth. So forgive our fetish for worshiping ecclesial power and prestige.
Generation X is trying hard to recover from hierarchy and the Millennials will recover from it fully, while at the same time dismantling The Church and molting a new version, a Church 2.0 with less money, fewer titles and corner offices, and more kindness. The inevitable humility, which will come from institutional financial collapse, will do that. As the church begins to run out of pledging humans, Bishop’s baubles and resort-retreats will be harder to afford and that will be painful for church hierarchy – so love on them please, because their world is crashing in on itself as they run out of people to bless, bully, dominate and tax. Perhaps Bishops and the CEEP conference will need to stay in Super 8 Motels some day soon. So clergy are sad. Give church bullies a hug, please. Or a scotch. Or a foot massage. Or, in some cases, all three please.
We want your “will” to be done but we know “will” is not what we mean. We mean your “desires.” Because we no longer want to be part of the patriarchy, edicts and memos associated with “the will of God.” And we want the same desires you have in the Trinity to flow into us and onto our small planet, the way it flows from the members of the Trinity one to the other. Freely. After all, we have read about “God’s will” in the Hebrew Scriptures and we are, quite frankly, appalled. But we trust the “new you” we see in Jesus.
Give us enough food and resources for one, small day, even Cardinal Rectors in their mansions. Secretly we want lots more and we Americans are taking it. We American Episcopalians are the top 1% and we like it! We want desperately for you to give us bank accounts, legal assurances of ownership, deeds, 401K savings, real-estate investments and other sources of wealth which make it needless that we ever speak to you again. We pray for the poor but do little to change the systems by which we so benefit. But you can be our celestial butler. Daily, we will give you our lists. We want to be rich and independent of you, but we know that would end in spiritual ruin, as it has for so many wealthy people, so you may be our chaplain and also our “Plan B.” But just give us enough bread and protein for today as that would be best for us – keep us on our toes. And also one night of sleep in a bed. And some warmth when it is cold. And one person to look into our eyes with real love. And chocolate.
Forgive us for what we have done. But begin with helping us to forgive ourselves for what we have done and help us to forgive others for the terrible things they have said about and done to us; especially those whom we thought really loved us – since that betrayal is the worst pain imaginable. Heal us from abuse but work herder to heal us from the abuse of abandonment.
Protect us from our own reckless desires and disordered loves. We want stupid things and use them to anesthetize our pain. We will grab them given half a chance – especially books, kitchen appliances, vestments and clothes. Help to guide our hands and eyes gently away from the silly things we choose. And I don’t just mean the big sins, but the billions of small ones.
And help us to recover from thinking that the human body is evil and that “sins” are what we do with our body. Let us have wild, crazy and potent sex! And protect us from leaders in church and state who are not getting enough really good sex. It makes them mean and short –tempered. Sex is not usually so sinnful. “Cranky, old mean” is sin. “Bitchy” is sin. “Smug, rich and slander” are sin. “Not being satisfied with what has been given to us” is sin. But we have made sin about sex in order to deflect our attention (and yours) away from the REAL evil…unkindness. So help us to be kind. Help us to recycle. Help us to bring doggie-poo-bags.
And protect us from the Church when, in her anxiety, she tries to hurt us in your name. And love Bishops, and hug them. They are in terrible pain and are afraid that their kingdoms are collapsing around them. Because they are. So love on them please. They can’t raise money to save their lives but they do crave it so.
Good, authentic non-profits which ease human suffering are raising money. That’s because they deserve the money they seek. So abandon the church when it raises money for empire, institutional maintenance or chaplaincy-to-the-comfortable; instead, flood secular non-profits with tons of money if they ease pain. And get in the way of churches and Bishops raising money for the spiritual ease of upper middle-class white people. And for “retreats” or “meetings” in four-star hotels. Upturn their tables. Make a big huge mess.
Help us to be kind to ourselves and to others. And that is enough. Really. That is enough. Then let us live wonderful, sexy, tasty, delicious, simple, economical, kind lives, even if that happens as The Church sells its naves, and people migrate back into houses – into bread, wine, crockpots, and tables of six or eight souls. How
beautifully graceful that the church is molting back into its 1st century self. So thank you for circles.
Matthew 6:9–13 (ESV) “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”