Rote and Ritual

I am sure I have prayed these words a million times and yet, they seemed so unfamiliar.  It happens when things become rote and ritual.  Their power lost in our inattentiveness.  We stop seeing.  We stop hearing. 

Today, however, I saw and it shook me to the core. 

You see, it’s easy in this world of social media sound bytes to rattle off opinions and proclaim judgements.  We may think our voice is drowned out in the sea of millions but to the One who hears all things it plunks like a pebble in a sea of glass.  The ripples go farther and longer than we ever anticipated.

We speak before we truly understand.  Our perspective is tainted and one-sided at best.  We hold tight to what we know but no matter what we think – we don’t know it all. 

Only He does.

And yet, we spew our words and toss our judgements as if what we are saying is etched in stone and more worthy than another.   Pictures, memes and comments fly on our pages faster than the mind can think, the heart can ponder and the soul can respond.

I wonder how different we are from those who rattled opinions and proclaimed judgements on Christ himself.  Those who lived by the law and failed to see the fulfillment who stood right in their midst.  Those who lost sight in their own myopic vision to see eternity living and breathing among them.  Do we consider ourselves of better stock and pray His words with conviction, “Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” 

I fear we beg Heaven to come but live as if it never will.  God help us!

The One who looked at his disciples and said, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye?”  Looks at us and says the same. 

Very little has changed.

We seek forgiveness to ensure our eternity and fail so quickly to give to others what we crave.  Our vision is blocked by our own arrogance and ignorance.  Thoughtlessly, we continue to pray, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

We prattle rote words that fall from our lips but never touch our heart.  If the ritual became real then we would be more mindful of what we pray to the One who answers.

“Forgive us … as we forgive.”

We speak as if we know what we are saying but if we truly did, would our world, our home and our heart not be different.  If those words carried their truth from our lips to our heart we would know that what we pray for is also the measure we ask for.

So the question is…do we really want to be forgiven in the manner in which we forgive?




Lynn T - Amen to that Denise. You have spoken what I have been thinking.

God – please help us to live as Christ did – never judging others but always meeting them where they are. May we forgive as you have forgiven us!!

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