The Lord’s Prayer (and, as I’m wont to say, The Disciples’ Prayer) is rooted in the belief that there is a relationship between God and us. The seed of this theological and existential point was planted securely in my consciousness many years ago…
The Reverend Dr. Richard A. Norris, Jr., one of my seminary professors, entered the classroom on a mid-December morning in 1974. It was the day of the fall semester’s final test in Systematic Theology. I, with my fellow students, waited with anticipation (and, surely, dating myself, with examination Blue Books and #2 pencils in hand!).
We expected Dr. Norris to distribute a series of essay questions. Perhaps concerning Christology to assess our understanding of the evolution from the Jesus of history to the Christ of faith. Or ecclesiology to probe our notions of the nature of the church. Or eschatology to evaluate our perceptions of the end-times. Or whatever!
Quietly, nervously, we waited.
Dr. Norris entered, walked to the head of the class, took a piece of chalk, and, on the blackboard, wrote God and man. With a flourish, he underlined the word and. Spinning on his heels, he walked out of the classroom, over his shoulder, saying, “Define ‘and’”.
I have no recollection of what I wrote. I do remember grasping the idea of this fundamental relationship between God and us; again a (perhaps the) foundational belief on which The Lord’s Prayer (The Disciples’ Prayer) stands.
More to come…
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