The Gospel In The Lord’s Prayer A Lecture-Sermon -- By: Werner Petersmann

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 087:347 (Jul 1930)
Article: The Gospel In The Lord’s Prayer A Lecture-Sermon
Author: Werner Petersmann


The Gospel In The Lord’s Prayer A Lecture-Sermon

Werner Petersmann

The Lord’s Prayer (Mt. 16:9–13 cf. Luke 11:2 ff.) is, indeed, the most precious pearl among the treasures of the New Testament. In as much as it is the prayer which has been taught by our Lord himself, and which is repeated daily by His true disciples, it represents the most classical as well as most common focus of the Christian’s religious life, for prayer is the daily speaking of the believer to his God. And just in this prayer, which addresses God and asks Him trustfully for the things that are fundamental, as they are taught in the Evangel by the great Christian Rabbi and Revealer in few and simple words for the practical, living faith: in this prayer the entire plane of the Gospel is traversed in concentrated and condensed thought for actual piety. Seen from this angle, the Lord’s Prayer, mirroring and reflecting the decisive elements of the Glad Tidings of Jesus Christ, beautifully represents— we may say—the Little-Gospel in the Gospel, and this as a wonderful microcosmic masterpiece in an architecture of simple clearness. It is a compendium, a “Summa” of Faith: “Christocentric,” taught with authority by the Christ; basing—in its philosophy of religion—the Christian faith on the experience of “Revelation and Prayer”; uttering in the appellation the Christian conception of God, and stating in the seven petitions the fundamentals of faith in their religious order and character. Let us therefore in this simple Lecture-sermon consider the Lord’s Prayer anew: let us consider it in this aspect, as such a living summary of the Gospel. Especially because it is the ever threatening fate of just such coins, which are used daily and often, that they become worn and lose their impression, eventually the very inscription or image, which give them character. For this reason a re-stamping, a re-impressing becomes ever and again a plain necessity. We

would, no doubt, contemplate the precious, biblical “coin” of this prayer in the impression which has again and again been emphasized by the theological work of the Christian church, past and present, the church of which we as believers are members. May we, however, at this time, stress in an especial sense, this “social” factor of our meditation, and realize the help which we have in the church, and listen to outstanding fellow-believers who possess profound and classical insights and are able to give valuable interpretations. Let us therefore listen to the reformers as well as to some of the profounder of the modern voices. In t...

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