Monday of Pentecost 18 – Prayer of the Week

Almighty God, You exalted Your Son to the place of all honor and authority. Enlighten our minds by Your Holy Spirit that, confessing Jesus as Lord, we may be led into all truth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams is one of the few contributions to the Science Fiction genre which is also comedic. In one scene the main characters of the story land on a planet and find the capital city in a military lockdown. The downtown area has been evacuated; soldiers ring the central plaza with weapons at the ready, all trained on the courthouse. Within that building is a harmless man. He had been summoned as a witness and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And he did! He told the whole truth, all of it.

No one could bear that whole truth which he told. At first it was alright, but soon no one could tolerate it. They evacuated the building and called in the military. It was just too much for people to hear the truth. Adams, the author of the story, was noting how convenient lies are for us and how much they seem to make our lives easier. We can tell ourselves that we are basically OK when we are not. The truth is hard to bear. Adams does not think we can stand it. He wrote that in 1979, over 40 years ago. What would he say about this time in which we have “alternate facts” and wild conspiracy theories abound?

Are you truly ready to pray this prayer? We ask God to enlighten our minds so that by the Spirit’s guidance we be led into the whole truth. That truth will have some difficult things to say about you and me. We are not OK. Our problems go very deep and are inescapable. The solutions are unpleasant and, frankly, unbearable. This is where we need the other parts of this prayer. The enlightenment is an act of the Holy Spirit, and we are led to the truth confessing Jesus as Lord. We can bear the truth of ourselves and confront reality only at the direction of that Spirit and in the light of Christ’s work. Otherwise, like the people on that planet in Adams story, we must flee the truth.

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