Now that I am done with the “official Lord’s prayer” I want to address the red letter that come immediately after the prayer.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
I understand that Jesus by dying on the cross earned us our salvation so that we can stand before God on that last day and He will welcome us into heaven in spite of our sins. St. Paul in his many epistles, and many other Christians believe that God has also forgotten our sins entirely due to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. If that is the case what do the red letters above mean? To me they mean that yes we will be welcomed into heaven but not before we stand accountable to God for what we did, or maybe more importantly didn’t do on this earth. I wonder if these words above should also be in the Lord’s prayer. If so they would give a quite different meaning from what many believe today.
Finally, many of us have memorized an additional statement to end the Lord’s Prayer “for thine…”. Of course this ending cannot be found in the Bible as it seems to have been generated by the Protestant reformers in the 16th century. Some say a variation of it was in a very early Christian document called the Didache. I don’t know that to be the case or not. I know reformers had good intentions but I personally am a little uncomfortable adding our own words to the perfect prayer that Jesus gave us in the gospels. It is almost as if we insist on having the last word! Ok, don’t flame me too much for that statement. I do say them as well but I still feel that way to some small extent.
Next time I will humbly attempt to put this prayer in my own words!