The Word: Who’s teaching the next generation?

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

On Tuesday, June 13, Jeopardy fans around the world went into an uproar when all three contestants blankly looked on without buzzing in for this answer: “Matthew 6:9 says, ‘Our Father, which art in heaven’, This ‘be thy name.’” Silence. None of the three contestants even attempted to answer. Even the host, Mayim Bialik appeared a little shocked. Suresh Krishnan, Laura Blyler and Joe Seibert just stood there and made no attempt in providing the correct “What is Hallowed” response. Folks all around went to social media immediately with shock and awe (and disappointment) that no one even attempted to answer correctly. Folks who couldn’t care less about God nor the Bible even made posts saying that this was an easy one. And yet…these three contestants stood still and had no clue.

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”

We often get shocked when folks don’t seem to know the Bible, old hymns, church history as we feel they should. I mean, this is the model prayer Jesus Himself taught. Everyone should know this, right?! Hold up. Wait a second. Can I ask you a question? Whom have you taught this prayer? With whom are you showing the ways or teaching the history, or sharing the vital aspects of faith? Do we make it a point to train the next generation or do we simply assume folks know this stuff? You see, as I watched this match and saw the blank stare of these three contestants and then saw the uproar on social media, I had to ponder: But, who’s teaching them?

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”

Jesus records this model prayer for us and it can be found and read in the Gospel of Matthew 6. In this chapter Jesus tells a great example of how to pray and even says “This, then, is how you should pray:” in verses 9-15. I love prayer. I love to pray. I love texting or emailing folks prayers when asked. Prayer is a powerful thing! I love how Jesus teaches us to begin with giving glory, honor, credit to God before anything else. I love how Jesus assures us that God listen to our prayers (Jeremiah 29:12-13; Psalm 139:4; 1 John 5:14-15; 1 Peter 3:12; Proverbs 15:29, etc.). I love how Jesus even says that we won’t be forgiven if we don’t forgive. So powerful. So beautiful. So needed. But folks won’t know if we don’t share. Instead of being shocked and in awe, set the example and teach others. Be the good needed.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.