O dear! O dear! O dear! Don’t we get ourselves in a tangle! So now to show a video advert of people praying the one prayer which nearly everybody knows could offend people.
What I feel is deeply ironical is that this should happen as we prepare to celebrate Christmas.
It will be alright for there to be all sorts of adverts on the cinema screens promoting all those things you can buy for your loved ones as Christmas presents and yet it is not OK to show an advert with people praying the prayer which Jesus taught his disciples to pray.
I know these are well worn words but without Jesus there is no Christmas. There would be no reason to celebrate if God had not sent his son into the world to be our Saviour.
I also find it strange that prayer should be considered offensive at a time when, because of the atrocities in France, so many people have turned to praying to God in France and throughout the world.
Our country, at its heart, is a Christian country which accepts people of any faith and of none. And as we get ready to celebrate Christmas it seems absolutely right to me for the advertising we see to be punctuated with a reminder of what it is really all about in the midst of offers to buy things of much lesser value than God’s gift of his Son, Jesus.
And here are those words which all the debate is about, in both English and French as I think that is appropriate at this time.
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
Que ton nom soit sanctifié,
Que ton règne vienne,
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
Comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal,
car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire, aux siècles des siècles.