Join Fuzz Kitto, STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalition Co-ordinator, as he reflects on the phrase 'lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil'.
Share this post?
Martin Luther King said “our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter.”
The disciples come to Jesus with a request on how they should pray. All the other religious groups had their “style”, emphasis and way of praying.They probably wanted to know how they relate to God, which will determine how they talk to God. So what Jesus is laying out in the example of a prayer [aka The Lord’s Prayer] is much more than words. It is the ways we can relate to God and our relationship to God and what God would have of us.
In the lines today of:
lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
we are led inwardly into an understanding, that has amazing implications for the outworking of our relationship with God. It is an answer to the great questions:
- What does God want from me?
- What are the implications of the sovereignty of God (God’s role) and the responsibility of humans (our role)? Or, what is God’s job and what is our job?
- How are we to be response-able to God, God’s relationship to us and our relationship to God?
Every relationship has expectations, desires, hopes and purpose. And these lines give us insight into our love for God and God’s justice to us, in us and through us.
Far too often we think of temptation as something that is enticing us to do bad, naughty and wrong things. Too often amongst Christian communities the first thing that pops up is ….sex! Yet it is much, much more than this. Yes it is about being tempted to do things that would hurt God, hurt us and hurt other people. However there is the fip side to this which is equally important… sometimes even more important – that is the temptation to not do right!
This traditionally is called the sin of attrition. This is failing to do the right that we could have done! This so hurts God, others and ourselves. Edmund Burke said The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing. So being delivered from evil is quite practical – do good! My hero John Wesley wrote about our response to God that would both stop us from being led into temptation, and being delivered from evil in his Rule of Conduct of disciples of Jesus:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
With my best friend Carolyn that I am also married I Co-coordinate the STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalition against human trafficking / modern slavery. We campaign for the prevention and abolition of the buying and selling of human bengs around the world. For us - lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – means not just letting this evil happen and being tempted to do nothing!
It means we cannot stand by and say “well it doesn’t happen in Australia” because it does. More so it means understanding how we live in response to the leaning from the Jesus model prayer. We are supporting evil when we buy goods that have human trafficking in their chain of supply. Chocolate, cotton, tea, canned fish, frozen goods. The temptation is to just support the systems and companies that use trafficked people / slaves in the production of cocoa, the spinning weaving, dying and making of clothes for instance.
We are led into evil when we participate and support evil systems that would make us blind to what is happening. As lovers of God, followers of Jesus and people filled with the spirit we understand the spirituality of abusing people so that others can make huge amounts of money – and produce a false economy… that will eventually collapse.
Human traffickers buy and sell people to make huge profits. We can starve their profits by intentionally deciding to do good not financially supporting people abuse and be delivered from this evil.
Why? Because God’s is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. We cannot change the past – temptation and evil – but we can create a future together bringing in the justice of the Kingdom that has come, and by doing these things will come. We do it now to get ready for the reality, which is yet to come - on earth as in heaven.
These are the things that are at the heart of God. We and all people are at the heart of God. What a privilege to live the prayer and build resilience against the temptation to not do good and be delivered from evil!
Our lives may begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter However they may really being to start when we decide to do the God-good that saves us from temptation and delivers us from evil?
So let’s do it together?
- Fuzz Kitto, Co-ordinator of STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalition. You can find out more about Fuzz & Carolyn's work this Easter to see fairly traded chocolate be part of a good Easter here: http://signwithmary.com.au/