This Sunday’s second reading (Hebrews 5:5-10) reveals the intimacy
between the Son and the Father. “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up
prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears…and he was heard
because of his reverent submission.” By grace, we share in such intimacy.
Fred Craddock, Jr. (+2015), originally from rural Tennessee, was a
Professor of Preaching at Emory University in Atlanta and an ordained minister in
the Disciples of Christ Church. His storytelling is unique and intriguing. Here is
one very short story that, for me, speaks to divine intimacy. Indeed, in giving us
the Our Father, Jesus invites us to pray with Him.
I remember Mrs. Foster—you don’t know Mrs. Foster—when
her mother was dying of cancer, and Mrs. Foster wanted me to come
to the house and have prayer and scripture with her mother, which I
did. When I got to the house, she handed me a Lutheran prayer book
in German. I said, “I thought your mother was United Methodist?”
She said, “She was. She married my father, who was
Methodist, and they were together in the church for over 40 years.”
I said, “What’s this?”
And she said, “My mother came from the old country when
she was a teenager. She’s from Germany, and it would mean a lot to
her if you would read the Lord’s prayer in German.”
I read her the Lord’s prayer in German, and that dying woman
mouthed the words and smiled.
(From Craddock Stories, 2001, Chalice Press, St. Louis, MO)
Fellow Lenten pilgrim with you,