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                                                                                 Lord’s Prayer Part 2


Just imagine that the queen has invited you to a special celebration of the monarchy. One of the oldest monarchies in the world! In this celebration she is wanting to present the future of the monarchy. Further, imagine you are sent a royal escort, Yeomen then usher you in to the palace and you experience all the royal splendour whilst hearing about the monarchy, with Her Majesty inviting you to play an active part in her plans for the United Kingdom. Then imagine, in one of the royal tents, she spots you having your high tea then looks at you intentionally, sits next to you and asks about your personal circumstances and wellbeing. Well, that is what’s happening in the second part of the Lord’s Prayer.

In the first part, we were invited to focus our minds on who God is and his will for the world. In the second part, God invites us to think of our needs and his provision for us. The petition “give us today our daily bread” means more than bread. It implies what we need for our daily lives, not only for today but also for tomorrow. When Jesus was on earth bread was such a common part of their diet that it was often referred to as food in general.  Bread making was a long process in ancient Israel. I wonder whether some of you remember a time before sliced bread. Even now, with the use of a bread machine at home, it takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. I can remember when we first got a bread machine. We were quite excited; then, after a while it became laborious – it was much easier to go to a specialist bakery. However, we still use it for special occasions.

When Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer, bread making was a major part of their day. Ploughing, sowing, harvesting, notwithstanding preparing the wheat or flour by milling, was a major responsibility of the household. Each house made their own, and it took possibly three hours of hard work every day to make enough to feed a family.

So, when we pray “give us this day our daily bread”, we are praying for all our needs for living. Further, we are expressing our daily dependence on God. Further still, we are expressing that even our next breath and heartbeat is dependent on God. There is something very deeply spiritual about expressing our dependence on God. Even the mundane is important to God and he takes pleasure as father in providing those needs.

There is also another sense in which dependence on God is implied; not only are we dependent on God for our daily physical living but also for our spiritual sustenance. In that sense asking for God’s help for daily living leads us quite nicely to the next petition as well.

 I guess this one will attract a preferential choice. Some like “forgive us our sins” and others prefer “forgive us our trespasses”. I don’t think I shall be forgiven for preferring either! No pun was intended but I did find it funny after I had written it!

The literal meaning of the word translated “trespass” or “sin” in the gospel of Matthew is debt. Luke in his gospel used the word sin (Luke 11) and there is little to explain.

 The word “trespass” was used by the English reformer William Tyndale (1494–1536) in his translation – the first translation to English from Greek and Hebrew, the Tyndale Bible. We don’t know why he chose trespass, but it has stuck and left its mark on the English language.  

Whilst one can debate the differences in meaning in literal sense, both words capture the idea of “missing the mark” and displeasing God in the prayer. Even the word “debt” which is St Matthew’s choice makes sense, in that we have sinned against God and owe him a debt of gratitude. When we pray “forgive us our sin or trespass” we assume that we are weak and will trespass in to areas we shouldn’t, miss the mark of God’s expectations and therefore owe God because we sin against him. Once again that theme of dependence is apparent for our spiritual life. As individuals and as humanity we have, and sin against God continually. Through what Christ did on the Cross he paved the way for us to pay that debt for trespass and sin against God. That is what we recall on Good Friday. We know it was effective because he rose again on Easter Day!

I think I will have to finish the Lord’s Prayer in the next letter. It is getting a bit long so there will be a third part.

Many Blessings!


 Although he did not live long after his translation which was in 1526 (less than 10 years) – he was strangled to death, and then his dead body was burned at the stake.  However, it certainly has left its mark in the legacy of English Christian liturgies. “Trespasses” first appeared in the Book of Common Prayer in 1549, and as of the latest edition it is still being used.

News from Totternhoe Academy

Our Mission Statement

We, at Totternhoe CE Academy, strive for excellence in education by providing a safe, secure, caring family environment, where all are valued and respected as individuals, enabling them to reach their full potential, whilst growing in their love and understanding of the Christian Faith.

Our Value this half term is Forgiveness. We can show forgiveness by:

  • Treating everyone with respect
  • Putting others’ needs before your own
  • Showing kindness to others

We were very well entertained by all our entries into the whole school Totternhoe’s Got Talent! Auditions took place in each key stage, and several acts from each year group were selected. We were treated to singing, dancing, joke-telling, story-telling, ‘Mastermind’–style interviews and piano-playing amongst other talents.

Our Final Show was held on Monday 1st April where we were able to crown our winner: Camron Burke, who entertained us brilliantly with his jokes.

Worthy runners up were the superb DanceAcro double act, Charlotte Goodman and Lilia Brennan.

Year 2 have enjoyed their music lessons and showcased their music learning with parents, with much audience participation in singing, encouraged by the excellent Mrs Thompson. Year 1 begin their inspiring music lessons next term.

A highlight this half term was our annual House pancake race. The whole school took part, including the youngest children in Blossom class (Pre-School). Great fun was had by all, and fresh pancakes were enjoyed back in the classroom.

We celebrated the end of term with our Daffodil Service at St Giles’, followed by a well-attended Community Tea Party, both on Tuesday 2nd April. Year 4 House Captains introduced an assortment of acts, including some items from Totternhoe’s Got Talent, piano and violin performances and singing, poems and jokes from children across the age ranges. Our audience was most appreciative and the children did themselves proud. Glee Club entertained with an excellent dance routine, brilliantly choreographed by our own Miss Jesson.

We have some amazing new equipment on our field!

Our school reporters write: ‘Our school is lucky enough to have had some additions made to our trim-trail. It is finished and has had the safety flooring put down to protect us when we are playing on it. We have seen them install some monkey-bars, a wooden climbing wall, a rope climbing net and more. It looks superb and we are all very much looking forward to being able to explore it and have lots of fun as soon as possible!’

The children will be able to use the new and improved trim-trail all year round due to the all-weather surface provided. This is an excellent addition to the range of outdoor activities provided to encourage all our young people to be as active as possible during their free times.

For further information about the school and to keep up to date with what’s going on, please have a look at our website:


If you are interested in having a closer association with the school as it continues on its journey as part of the Diocese of St Albans Multi-Academy Trust, we would very much like to hear from you! We currently have vacancies for Academy Council members (formerly ‘Governors’) with a keen interest in supporting the work of the school and championing its cause in the community. Please do get in touch if this is an area that interests you.  

D Mitchelmore/O Bates