Separation. Sometimes it comes willingly. Other times it is a reality not of our choosing.
Separation seems to be the theme of our passages today. We, as people of the Light, live in this “already but not yet” world. We are separated from the fullness of God’s grace and we long to be fully in the light, fully wrapped in grace.
Today, the writer of Deuteronomy warns that after God has richly blessed you in this life, and therefore, not to forget the Lord. James makes distinctions between hearers of the word and doers of the word. In Luke, Jesus teaches the disciples to pray. All are dealing with separation – from God and one another.
How are we to cope with this separation? Jesus sets the tone. He focuses on praying for “daily bread” in the Lord’s prayer. And quelling that separation with God begins with mending relationships here on earth: “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.”
Isn’t that strange!? He doesn’t say, “Pray more and you will be closer to God.” He is, in essence, saying, “Focus on today. Mend fences of separation today. Gather food just for today. Then you will come to know the closeness of God.”
This is a solemn warning and a bold challenge to our world of today. In a world of 401(K)s, long-term goals, and dreams of tomorrow comes a stark message of cultivating relationships for today.