Formal recitation of the Lord’s Prayer is under scrutiny as its place is considered in parliaments of this land. Secularists would abandon it, traditionalists want to retain it, and some of us think the boat is being missed altogether – for to really pray the prayer as Jesus intended would be too explosive for governments to entertain or contain.
This morning’s lectionary had us considering it again. To avoid over-familiarised conditioning, we considered a translation from Aramaic, the familiar language of Jesus.
We noted the intimate invitation to familial relationship with the Divine, creating a human-Divine unity of being out of which the action of God’s reign flowed, expressing itself in forgiveness and just action.
Consider this translation into English from Aramaic (one of several provided by http://www.thenazareneway.com/lords_prayer.htm )
The Prayer To Our Father
(in the original Aramaic)
“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).
Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l’ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)
The freshness of these words were at first somewhat dis-orienting to some of this morning’s worshippers, but I guarantee that the next time we come across the formal use of this prayer, we will hear the whisper of the radical transformation of self and universe that is at its centre.