For Your Lenten Consideration…

Renowned pastor, author and Bible translator Eugene Peterson meditating on the so-called “middle voice” – which lays somewhere between the active and the passive voice in ancient Greek grammar.

My grammar book said, “The middle voice is that use of the verb which describes the subjects as participating in the results of the action.” I read that now, and it reads like a description of Christian prayer — “the subject as participating in the results of the action.” I do not control the action; that is a pagan concept of prayer putting the gods to work in my incantations or rituals. I am not controlled by the action; that is a Hindu concept of prayer in which I slump passively into the impersonal and fated will of gods and goddesses. I enter into the action begun by another, my creating and saving Lord, and find myself participating in the results of the actions. I neither do it, nor have it done to me; I will to participate in what is willed.

– Eugene Peterson, quoted by Philip Yancey in Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

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