Synagogue Worship and the Lord’s Prayer

 

Without doubt the Lord’s Prayer was part of our worship this morning, as it is every week.  I’ve started digging a bit deeper into this prayer Jesus taught us which amounts to only 52 words in Matthew 6:9-13, without the doxology which was not part of the original.  The prayer is 36 words in Luke 11:2-4, with some variations.  One researcher I’m reading spent a good many pages trying to figure out which was the true original version.  I take such efforts as interesting but of little value when it comes to fathoming the depths of Jesus’ brief prayer.  As for the variations between Matthew and Luke, well we don’t say it exactly as either version.  This morning most of us referred to “trespasses” which is not in either Matthew or Luke.  Matthew uses “debts” and Luke has “sins.”

However, the researcher I referred to above did make a connection between synagogue worship and the prayer Jesus taught his disciples.  Jesus would have been quite familiar with the service in the synagogue which concludes with the Qaddish (Holy).  Note how this old prayer finds expression in the Lord’s Prayer:

“Exalted and hallowed be his great name

In the world which he created according to his will.

May he rule his kingdom

In your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime

Of the whole house of Israel, speedily and soon.

And to this, say, ‘Amen.’”

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