As a devotional exercise, I’ve tried to spend a bit of time revising the Lord’s prayer (and hopefully not leaving orthodoxy in the process).
who dwells in heights above:
Let your name
brood o’er the world as a dove.
Give us today that day’s bread,
forgive us as we forgive.
Lead us not into battle,
but deliver us from the enemy.
For in you our endless story ends.
1. “Storyteller” loses Father element (personal, relationship element) and also sounds a bit silly.
2. Since I’m trying to pull the name, reign, will elements together into one phrase (with only one verb), I’ve risked losing the meaning of the verbs (venerated be thy name, thy kingdom come, will be done). Beyond that, it seems like using the word “dine”, even though I love the resonance with the next line, could easily fall into the prosaic exactly when power should be communicated. This is the biggest concern.
I’m meaning for “depths” to be contrasted with “heights”, but not to the extent that heights are good and depths are bad. I’m not sure that this comes across clearly. I’ve changed “in depths” to “with dirt”. This might help eliminate the dualism and manage to refer to man (created with dirt) and the earth itself. The disadvantage is that this is even further from the text. I’ve tried this section over again with “brood o’er the world as a dove” (nice underhanded reference to the role of the Holy Spirit). Another possibility would be something like “fill the world as a flood” or some such thing.
4. The “that day’s bread” arises from a couple of different thoughts. On the one hand, the word used there is the word used for the bread soldiers would get for the next day. So they were getting tomorrow’s bread today. Also, I liked the idea of relating the getting of the bread with the hope that is expressed in the name, reign, will bit. And tying this together reminds us of the eating of communion that is in the background. So, in partaking in communion, we are eating tomorrow’s bread (tomorrow being new creation, when the Spirit has filled all), which is Jesus Christ, today.
5. I’ve also left the next phrase on forgiveness as part of the bread bit.
6. The shortened bit on forgiveness emphasized the reflection of God’s forgiveness in ours, but also loses the “forgive those who transgress against us”, which not only makes the example more concrete (think of others sinning against you), but also reminds us (via the reflection) that we have sinned against God.
7. It’s possible that exchanging “battle” for “temptation” goes too far…though I’m not quite sure how.
8. The military metaphor can work, though I’d prefer to emphasize the liberation aspect if possible.
9. Replacing the “For Thine…” with the bit on our “endless story ends” is probably not appropriate, but it does have the advantage of hearkening back to the Storyteller aspect (the creative aspect) and playing on the words end (as stopping point) and end (as purpose). It also recognizes that what we’ve been talking about (and everything else) is summed up or brought to fulfillment in him (which is, I think, what that section is getting at). However, it does strike one with less euphony and is a much starker ending.
Thoughts, suggestions, complaints?