I have been dreading this semester. Bill Mallard, my colleague in historical studies at Candler School of Theology, is retiring at the end of the year. Together he and I have team taught the first semester of the History of Christian Thought each fall for 21 years. It is hard for me to imagine what the autumns will be like now.
The only college paper I saved was written when I was a sophomore. Dated “Thanksgiving 1946,” it turned up a couple of years ago in my files. My assignment had been to “picture what you’ll be like and what you’ll be doing in January 2000.” My essay was, of course, jejune and is, of course, embarrassing, but since January 2000 has come, here goes:
The parish liturgy committee decided to adopt the contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer for use during worship. From now on, at least at one of the services, we’d be “sinners” instead of “trespassers.” The next Sunday a distraught man cornered me. “You’ve taken the Lord’s Prayer away from us!”
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