John August Swanson, "Psalm 23." Used by permission.
Image © Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Treasure in Heaven
Matthew 6:7-21 Commentary
by Richard Swanson
A friend suggested that Matthew’s story is governed by the Lord’s Prayer.
I like this suggestion. This little prayer has incredible power in any context, but in the flow of Matthew’s story it becomes something transcendent.
It matters that it is a little prayer. The storyteller says pagans are impressed by battalogia and polulogia. Babbling and long-winded wordiness are useful if the Deity demands groveling before deigning to respond. Babbling and long-winded wordiness are useful if what really matters is preening religious practice. I am the child of people who believe that directness and simple honesty matter, and that elaborate protocol is a sign of dishonesty. “Don’t try to snow me” might be our family motto. It’s refreshing to hear that Matthew’s Jesus could belong to our family. “God your father knows what you need,” he says. “He knows it before you ask, so don’t try to snow him.” Prayer trusts the nearness and readiness of God. That is worth remembering.
The Lord’s Prayer, however, ...
| Bible Text
Sept. 7, 2014 - May 24, 2015
2014-2015 readings 2014-2015 worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. On the Sundays from September through May each year the texts follow the sweep of the biblical story, from Creation through the early Christian church. Read more...
NL162: Treasure in Heaven
February 01, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for Feb. 1, 2015: Matthew 6:7-21 (Accompanying text: Psalm 20:7).
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