Skip to main content

Seek daily forgiveness



There is an offer that was made to the world 2000 years ago by an itinerant carpenter who happened to believe he could converse with Reality itself. The man was Jesus. The Reality he named was Abba.

Jesus faced down the temptation to do glitzy miracles. He thought they were offensive and tacky. Instead, he spent his days doing two simple things: forgiving and healing people. Some legends suggest that he did some strenuous miracles. He fed a lot of people and he appeared on the surface of a stormy lake. But there are a lot of legends about Jesus. The healing and forgiving were for real and the proof lies in the bare-bones story, first set down for posterity in what we call the Gospel of Mark.

In that story, Jesus began by suggesting that things would become heavenly if people would honestly repent of the harm they had done. He called this the good news. (Mark 1)

Jesus then used his abilities to heal, with one important caveat. Most of those he healed were required to believe, to have faith. He actually suggested that faith was intrinsic to the process.

When you examine Mark for the reason Jesus was executed you will discover two major reasons:

He wanted to end the legalism and hypocrisy of religion.

And he insisted that he and his followers possessed the power to forgive and to heal.

Knowing his fate was sealed,  Jesus gave his followers the Lords Prayer. It is the only prayer he left us. It is right up there with Hamlet's most famous soliloquy. I like it in the form I have cast it in. It has twelve lines in three stanzas and can be sung to myriad melodies.

Abba whose home
in heaven is
Hallowed and holy
is your name
Let your realm come
your will be done
Till earth and heaven
are the same

Give us this day
our daily bread
Forgive the wrongs
that we have done
As we forgive
those who do wrong
Lead us not into
temptation

Deliver us
from evil Lord
And guide us safely
to your shore
Yours is the power
to heal and mend
Yours is the glory
evermore

Now what do you find here that is genuinely unusual?  Two big things. The name Abba which stands for Dad, Father, friend. This is the direct opposite of the vindictive, side-taking deity whose MO is to pit people against one another and ethics be damned.  You also find a contract, an oral pledge, a covenant, a recipe for harmonious existence for all.

Now I do not believe this Jesus cared a whit for establishing a church that would have a creed and build large buildings and conduct wars and play politics. Jesus's Sermon on the Mount is directly opposed to this list of ecclesiastical practices.  Jesus is much closer to the one that Neitzsche described in The Antichrist as the only true Christian who ever existed. This Jesus had only one demand and he put it in this prayer. 

Forgive the wrongs
that we have done
As we forgive
those who do wrong

There it is, folks. Plain as day. A contract. If you repent you will be forgiven.

If there is going to be any cure for the wrongs of life, there must be universal repentance. And repentance, as this prayer makes plain, is the only way anyone can be forgiven.

We do not get better because others pray for us. We get better because we pray for ourselves. We get forgiven because we seek forgiveness. This prayer is about the way reality works.

To drive this point home is to provide the most compelling reason why this philosophy is on the mark. Consider the reality. Me or you and the wrongs we've done. The people we've wronged and everyone else who do wrong. And? And? Abba. Or Reality. Or I-am. We are saying that binary has not, cannot and never will cut it. Only when we interpose a third element do we have a practical effect. A real effect. Only there do we touch the only way to infinity.  It takes thinking this through to perceive that when we say "think in threes" we are proposing not an option but a necessity on the way to becoming human. 
   
To suggest that everyone repeat this prayer or some equivalent three times a day sounds like the most unrealistic request of this millennium. But I have no hesitation in adding that it would make all the difference.

We can either have a repetition of the wrongs of the past or an evolution toward a future based on decency, hope and mutual care.

Popular posts from this blog

Etc.

"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Obama Ads Should Be Grass Roots Cinema Verite

ShortFormContent at Blogger: How President Obama Can Win Christian Conservatives:

'via Blog this'

To counter the invidious efforts of Karl Rove and the Brothers Koch, simple videos of everyday people expressing gratitude for specific results from specific things that the President has achieved will create a signature response that will turn the tables on the Super PACs.

There could be an intro that flags lies distortions and anonymous attacks as unreal and even criminal and a cut to what is real, recognizable and not anonymous I am (name). I have lived here in (name) for (time). Thanks to (President Obama's (name) Act ... and so forth for ten seconds. Close with a continuation of the story narrated over evocative images and simple acoustic music.

This would be a fantastic way to counter the attacks on the President. For every specific attack, a video that shows the truth. And grass roots people who intend to vote for the President.




Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Three…