For the last several Sundays the pastors of FPC have preached through the Lord’s Prayer. Though I’ve heard at least a couple versions of this series it has been a neat chance to reflect again on a prayer that is often so routine it’s like breathing. The children’s times have been lovely and simple too, with them following the series and using this time to learn how to sign the prayer. So many little moments and little nuggets here and there – I’ve tweeted most of my thoughts on the sermons throughout so I won’t rehash them here. But I was thinking a bit through the last installment, which was yesterday. The last sermon was on the word, “amen.”
I have to be honest. 1) I was kind of ready to be done with the series only because I was starting to feel a little ADD and looking to move onto something else. I think I’m somehow already getting excited about Advent and Christmas – God forbid, it’s not even Halloween yet, what’s wrong with me?! I blame all the stores with their damn decorations up already. And 2) I wondered what and how much could be said about those four little letters beyond the definition. I mean, a whole sermon? On just amen? Really???
Amen. The sign we were taught for it was it to put your hands together and kind of bend your wrists forward twice. At least, that’s how I interpreted it: A child-like gesture, like how we sometimes tell our children to clasp their hands together, and bow their heads and close their eyes for a prayer whether before meals or during worship.
“To clasp the hands in prayer is to rise up against the disorder of the world.” -Karl Barth
What is it about this image and this quote Andy shared in his sermon Sunday … I can’t get it out of my mind. It conjures up images of the children signing the prayer each Sunday, and the moving embodiment and proclamation of these words … So dynamic …
Rebecca, a little girl with some special needs, who relies on signing to communicate often helping to lead this prayer and an incredible testimony to God’s Spirit using anyone at anytime to not only give a glimpse but to declare boldly God’s kingdom in our midst …
Sometimes seeing my little Angelpie with her eyes half-closed, squinting through her gorgeous eyelashes with a simultaneously goofy and solemn smile and few of her tiny fingers intertwined in prayer …
And then on Sunday this past week to hear and listen to the whole congregation pray the prayer together with voices that are seasoned and have been carried by these words throughout the years, through illness and wars and loss … and then voices almost chirping happily and in harmony, following along, young voices praying the words like they know somehow they are reciting something ancient and truly holy the way they annunciate each word clearly.
Saying amen is not just a rote vocalization. When we say it we affirm, proclaim, and ordain for it to be true in our lives.
This last sermon was likely my favorite. I want to live and walk as an αμεν to God’s grace, and to be that αμεν that confirms what God has done, is doing, and will do in the world.