Message of Faith – The Lord’s Prayer—Giving and Forgiving

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

The news has been filled with events that push our buttons of fear and worry. From terrorist attacks, to gunmen entering churches, to evolving social constructs with which you may or may not agree. Can the Lord’s Prayer really support you in shifting from the problem to the possibility?

As our foundation, we remember God is our Source of all good. When the worry and fear arise, the Lord’s Prayer begins by reminding us to center in God. This is always the first step in applying the principles discovered in the Lord’s Prayer.

Second, we remember that our purpose is to fulfill God’s will of restoring the Kingdom of Heaven right here on earth. Centered in God, you open to a greater understanding of your next right step to take in love. Jesus reminded us that the Kingdom of God is in our midst. It is up to you and I to become aware of the ever expanding good that is always present and available and do our part to bring it into demonstration.

Our Daily Bread….

The Lord’s Prayer then gives us practical steps to take to demonstrate that good. We are reminded that God has promised us our daily bread. Right here, right now, as you read this, you are safe. You are clothed. You are fed. You are housed. You have a car. You have hot and cold water streaming from your faucet. You have lights. You have enough. From that awareness, you can become aware of the great fullness of this moment. In that awareness, you expand and know that you have more than enough to share. The problem comes when you get so caught up in worry and fear that you constrict in your giving. Grasping tightly to what you have, there is no room for generosity. It is only in generous serving and sharing that the Kingdom of God can be revealed.

With giving also comes forgiving. We are called to give compassion for hatred; kindness for vitriol; an open heart for defense and anger. None of us has come to this moment without making mistakes, causing pain, and acting in forgetfulness of our True nature. All of us are none the less loved by our God which is unconditional love expressing. The members of Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston reminded one another to love and forgive. As churches continue to burn, we are called to stand up for what is right. And yet we must find a balance to do so in love. We forgive those who cause the harm while praying that their heart be opened to the Power of Love that is within them. As Dr. Martin Luther King has reminded us, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

In Unity, we know that evil, while apparently unfolding, is not real in the Absolute realm of all good. You and I keep evil alive as we engage in error thought, selfishness and greed. If each of us opened our heart to simply love each one before us, evil would disappear in an instant. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us that there is a way out of the temptation of evil. Not a single one of us is stuck in temptation. Whether that temptation is a belief in lack and limitation or the urge to speak negatively about someone, the way through that temptation is to return your thoughts back to God. God provides the Divine Ideas needed to lift us out of error consciousness to the Truth. Love is the harmonizing power that will be revealed through you and I as we do so.

God’s Kingdom, power and glory is ever present here and now, even when we cannot see it through the activity of the world. This is the Truth. This is what you and I are called to demonstrate and reveal. This is what the Lord’s Prayer reminds us no matter what we are going through. Without a doubt, there is an abundance of opportunity to practice!

Knowing it is in practice that your life can transform, you are invited into this week’s spiritual practice of loving unconditional. Where do you place conditions on your giving? Where do you withhold your forgiving? What would it look like to give unconditionally? Choose each day to give by doing a random act of kindness without receiving anything in return. If there is someone you have left out of your heart in unforgiveness, consider how you could extend some living kindness to them as you make the choice to forgive.

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne


Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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