The Lord’s prayer and a misleading old hymn…
- “It is very significant that in the Lord’s Prayer the words I, me, and mine never occur; it is true to say that Jesus came to take these words out of life and to put in their place we, us, and ours. God is not any man’s exclusive possession” (William Barclay).
- “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear; the Son of God discloses. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
Not only have others known the joy, but it is a joy that’s meant to be experienced in fellowship with others. And we miss “the fullness of joy” when we isolate ourselves and try to individualize spiritual matters.
I am not trying to take away the personal nature of our relationship with God. I am simply reminding us that God does not view His people as isolated or even loosely connected individuals.
God’s plan is for His people to be meaningfully related in local churches with all the messiness and challenges that come with growing relationships.
We suffer in the West from an overemphasized individualism. The community relationship of God’s people is the emphasis of the New Testament, not my personal and individual relationship with God.