Saturday, September 11, 2010

Face Punch Word of the Week #3

If the sun has not yet set in Jerusalem, I've managed to get this in before the end of the week...

It's time for round three.  Use this word around me and you just might get punched in the face.  By me.

Face Punch Word of the Week #3:

WEJUSWANNA (pronounadverbverb)

As in: "Lord, wejuswanna thank you..."

When it comes to prayer, if you want to feign humility, one of the best ways to do it is to preface your prayer with wejuswanna.  So instead of being bold enough to thank God, you tell Him that you just want to thank Him.  Instead of being confident enough to ask God for His forgiveness (in the event that Wejuswanna Praisers actually think to ask of that) you tell Him that you want to ask Him for forgiveness.  Instead of just straight up singing of God's love forever, you tell Him that you could sing of his love forever.

Here's why this is annoying and deserving of a face punch...

When it comes to the Christian life, we are certainly called to a life of humility.  We should be humble when it comes to our good works because the good fruit we branches produce is not ours but is actually the fruit of the Vine Himself.  We should be humble when it comes to whatever talents and and blessings God has given us because we would have nothing apart from His free gifts.  We should be humble when it comes to dealing with our neighbor because God has called us to live our lives in service of him.  We should be humble when it comes to speaking about our faith because, like Peter on the water, our faith is overcome by sink-inducing doubt and fear and worry every day of our lives.

But when it comes to prayer, we really shouldn't be humble.  Certainly we should be humble in the sense that we don't come to God in prayer thinking that we deserve to get what we're asking for because we're incredibly, fantastically holy or really, really ridiculously good looking.  But because Christ's forgiveness has made us sons of God, because the death and resurrection of Jesus give us the right to call God "our Father," then, to use the language of Luther's Small Catechism, we ought to ask of Him as dear children ask their dear Father.  And because Jesus has told us to pray to our Father and His Father and because He has told us to pray for such a huge, enormous, monstrous thing as the coming of His entire kingdom to us, then we ought to get rid of the "aw shucks, golly gee, I was just gonna maybe sorta think about possibly asking you something if you're not busy" attitude that the wejuswanna prayers exude.

So when you pray, be bold.  Be confident.  Be brash.  Don't tell God that you just want to thank Him.  Thank Him without hesitation.  Jesus has given you the right to do so.  Don't tell God that you could sing His praises.  Sing them.  The blood of Christ gives you the right to belt that song out at the top of your lungs.  And, more than anything else, don't tell God youjuswanna ask Him for something.  Ask Him.  Ask Him loudly.  Ask Him aggressively.  And if you're asking for something that God has already promised to give (such as the aforementioned coming of His kingdom, the doing of His will, the forgiveness of your sins, your daily bread, deliverance from evil), don't just ask.  Demand.  Demand that He keep His promises.  Tell Him that you expect Him to be God.  The robe of righteousness that Jesus put on you in your baptism compels you to pray in such an absurdly overconfident fashion.

Also, if you pray in such a manner, I won't punch you.

My name is Pastor Hans Fiene.  Thanks for reading.

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