AD 1389 Wycliffe

Our fadir that art in heuenes,
halwid be thi name;
Thi kingdom cumme to;
be thi wille don as in heuen and in earthe;
giv to vs this day our breed ouer other substaunce;
and forgene to vs oure dettis, as we forgeue to oure dettours;
and leede us nat in to temptacioun,
but delyuere vs fro yuel.

Wycliffe died for daring to translate the Bible into something ordinary people could read. How important it is to realise that there was a time when the Bible was kept secret by the Church hierarchy as if it were too good for the people (or was it that the Bible would show up the authorities for what they were?). All that people of that time may have heard in church were the Latin words of the Pater Noster

Sins, trespasses or debts? It depends on how you translate the Greek word. Sins need forgiving, debts need cancelling and I’m not sure what trespasses need! My personal concern when using the traditional form of words for the Lord’s Prayer is that there are words in it that have very little meaning today. Trespasses, for instance, suggests a wilful act of accessing another person’s property. Its older meaning has been lost in normal speech. Trespass does not really express the failure of a relationship with God broken by us through disobedience. Debts are what we owe – they suggest an obligation to someone, but this could be an obligation to pay back what you’ve borrowed. To my mind, sin is the word we need, even though the world laughs at that word. To the world sin seems to be about perverse sexual behaviour and not a lot else. The world needs conviction of sin -to acknowledge the disobedience of Adam in us all in daring to think that we can step out of God’s care and do our own thing.

No sin can be forgiven except upon repentance. It is a sin to think that you use the church like a car wash. We use cars and they get dirty. We wash them or go to the car wash, knowing that we’re going to carry on making them dirty as we continue to use them. Repentance is an act whereby we come to God with the intention not only of accepting His cleansing but also of stepping away from what it was that had made us unclean before God.

We may recall Jesus’ parable of the servant who, after having a massive debt (there’s that word!) dismissed by his master, goes and throws another person in jail for the small debt he owed the servant. The servant had a bad ending.

Do you rejoice in the freedom you have to pray the Lord’s Prayer in public?

Of what sins of the Church (and our own church fellowship) do we need to repent?

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Hawaiian Pidgin English

God, you our Fadda, you stay inside da sky.
We like all da peopo know fo shua how you stay, an dat you stay good an spesho,
An we like dem give you plenny respeck.
We like you come King fo everybody now.
We like everybody make jalike you like, Ova hea inside da world,
Jalike da angel guys up inside da sky make jalike you like.
Give us da food we need fo today an every day.
Hemmo our shame, an let us go fo all da kine bad stuff we do to you,
Jalike us guys let da odda guys go awready,
And we no stay huhu wit dem fo all da kine bad stuff dey do to us.
No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff,
But take us outa dea, so da Bad Guy no can hurt us.
Cuz you our King. You get da real power, an you stay awesome foeva.
Dass it!

Don’t think that simplicity of language in the above version leads to a diminished Lord’s Prayer. You may be stumped by a few words, but after reading through a couple of times you will begin to understand it better, and I trust that you will see it as a valid expression of the Lord’s Prayer.

There is nothing wrong with being tempted (No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff). Jesus was tempted to do some horrific things. Satan placed before Jesus some proposals that were very tempting, such as a promise (and don’t think Satan wouldn’t have kept that promise) to give him all the nations of the earth upon the bending of Jesus’ knee before him. This was a real temptation. Satan had the authority to do it. Jesus resisted. Jesus rebuked Satan with the truth and greater authority of the Bible.

The prospect of sinning had entered Jesus’ head. He rejected it. You may feel that certain temptations make you feel sullied – you shouldn’t be thinking such impure, idolatrous, disobedient, faithless or ungodly thoughts. But temptation places the thoughts or desires in you. It’s what you do about them that counts. Do I wallow in them or do I deal with them?

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see him there,
Who made an end to all my sin.

When we ask God to lead us not into temptation we are not praying that he will keep us away from it. Our prayer is that God will keep us away from temptations we are not yet able to resist. We have to face up to temptation:

Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind. Be sad and sorry and weep. Stop laughing and start crying. Be gloomy instead of glad.

James 4:7-9

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. But we cannot resist in our strength alone. We have neither the power nor the authority of ourselves to resist the works of the devil. Only under the supreme power and covering of Jesus are we safe.

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Before the throne of God above: original words by Charitie Lees Bancroft (1841-1892), alternate words and music by Vikki Cook ©1997 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.



Abwûn d’bwaschmâja Oh You, from whom the breath of life comes, who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
Nethkâdasch schmach May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Têtê malkuthach. Your Heavenly Kingdom 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, as we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlân l’nesjuna ela patzân min bischa. Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations), but let us be freed from that which keeps us 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.
Amên. Sealed in trust, faith and truth. I confirm with my entire being

We turn finally to the words Jesus himself may have used. The above is a translation into Aramaic (still spoken by Syriac Christians) with its meaning. The words in parentheses are the more literal translations of particular words.

To me this form of the Lord’s Prayer to me expands its horizons cosmically, and you may want to keep this one near you as you pray. To hear the words as Jesus may have spoken them open this link:

Deliver us from evil. Let us be freed from that which keeps us from our true purpose. In both translations we are made aware that evil is something that surrounds and attacks us. We do not ask to be guided away from evil, but to be delivered out of it.

What is the evil in the world – is it the evil of mankind? There are some who it would be hard not to describe as evil – those who have committed genocide, those who have slaughtered mercilessly in battle, the child molester, the suicide bomber. We should also be aware that some terrible things have been perpetrated under the banner or the covering of the Church– persecution, torture, enslavement, murder. All in the past? How about the recent abuse scandals?

Anyone still alive may receive forgiveness upon repentance. For them the door to a clean slate in Jesus is still open. They are sinners, and though their sins may to us seem unforgiveable, they are not to God (but see Matthew 18:2-6 and Mark 3:28-30). Jesus died for the murderers, the rapists, the psychotics, the torturers and the criminally insane as well. If we consider that evil is of human origin we may be missing its true source.

Evil is active warfare against God’s kingdom. Evil is of the Prince of darkness. Evil affects both those who are taken up in it and those who are affected by it.

When we pray that we be delivered from evil we are praying for spiritual protection from its influences and its effects on us. We have already prayed for God’s Kingdom to come in this world, and it surely will.

God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year.
God is working his purpose out, and the time is drawing near.
Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be
When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

Suffer the children:

For yours, Father,  is the kingdom, the power and the glory, to eternity. Amen.

Thy Kingdom Come 10-20 May

Thy Kingdom Come is a global movement that started in the UK a couple of years ago. It covers the period in the church year from Ascension to Pentecost. During this time we are encouraged to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom in our nation, in our neighbourhood, or amongst our friends.

Our Benefice response is two-fold: Praying for the Nation with friends, and Benefice Walk.

Praying for the Nation

Our Nation needs prayer. Invite some friends or persuade a friend to host an hour where together, over tea and cake, you follow through the guidance found in the  link below.

60 Minutes of Prayer for our Nation – PDF format

Benefice Walk

Saturday 12 May, 10am, starting from Westerfield Church.  An 8 mile circular walk visiting each church for a short act of worship. Lunch at Witnesham. Sign up by emailing Alan

Lent Reflections 2018 – The Struggle

Our Lent reflections are available as a PDF download or viewable below.

The Struggle
In the living of our Christian life we will meet some opposition. Christian life does involve struggle. For our daily Lent Reflections this year I’ve picked texts that highlight the struggle as well as some to encourage us on our way. We may prefer to avoid the uncomfortable bits in the Bible, but running through it is a golden (or is it blood-red?) strand – the prospect that when we take up the challenge to follow Christ we may encounter suffering through oppression and persecution. So let’s face up to it.

If you would like to receive our Lent and Advent reflection as daily emails then please get in touch with Paul.

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Advent Reflections 2017 – Colossians

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Advent we shall study Paul’s letter to the new church in Colossae (some spell it Colosse). Most scholars confirm Paul as the author of the letter. Paul (assuming it was he!) probably wrote the letter when he was in prison. Although he doesn’t express it directly in his letter, it seems that there were some odd goings-on in that church. We’ll attempt to read between the lines to see why Paul, who never went to Colossae himself, writes the letter.

PDF download or viewable below

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