The Lord’s Prayer – Preparing for God’s Kingdom: Blessing the Lord April 13, 2014

1 Chronicles 29:11-13          Psalm 31:9-16            Philippians 2:5-11     Matthew 21:1-11

We may have wondered why we say, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Amen” at the end of the Lord’s Prayer.  As the Lord’s Prayer has been said in worship services since the time of the early church, I believe we find the reason we say these words.  It turns out that these words are considered a response.  The word for this response would be doxology – words of praise. 

It is quite appropriate on this Palm Sunday to consider why we use this response in our praying the Lord’s Prayer.  We are preparing on what is the last Sunday of Lent for God’s kingdom.  As we read about Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, we realize that Jesus was preparing to show how close God’s kingdom is.  Like the crowds responded to Jesus riding on the foal of the donkey by shouting “Hosanna’s!” we are responding to Jesus’ way of praying.  The crowds were affirming who Jesus is.  We are affirming what is spoken in the prayer.

To know what we are affirming, we want to find if this doxology/response in is Scripture.  We will do this as we will look at what the three overlapping words in the doxology, which are the kingdom, the power, and the glory.  Then we will ponder the “Amen.”

 

  1. The Kingdom
  2. Recap from week #2 – an acknowledgement of God’s reign in our lives
  3. It is a kingdom that cannot be shaken – E. Stanley Jones, Methodist missionary, quoted in Killinger (p. 78)
  4. Roy Pearson – “If the post-Christian age is thronged with aimless people, if the nuclear age is crowded with frightened people, if the space age is filled with hopeless people, the reason is not that we have not received a kingdom that cannot be shaken but only that we have not recognized what we have already received.”
  5. By using this doxology when praying the Lord’s Prayer, we are saying that we want God’s kingdom to come here on earth.  We are saying we want to live in God’s kingdom.  How are we going to live in God’s kingdom?

 

  1. The Power
  2. He has this, God does!
    1. Power to create
    2. Power to re-create
  3. Power includes restraint
    1. God doesn’t wipe out, because he has mercy
    2. God doesn’t allow injustice to reign, he brings justice
  4. We realize what God has.  For God’s Kingdom to come, God has to use his power to do this task.  For God’s will to be done here on earth, God has the power to make his will be done.  Yet, God restrains himself.  Yet, by God’s power the church is alive today.  It is by God’s power that the church will be here for all time.  Because of God’s power, we are able to praise Him.

 

  1. And the Glory, forever
  2. He has good stuff
    1. Promises – Jesus is coming in power & glory (Matthew 24;30)
    2. Jesus’ glory & that of the  Father are different than our glory (1 Corinthians 15:41)
    3. God’s glory is inapproachable (Revelations 15:8)
  3. We realize what God has.  It is more than any of us could do or could have.  And God’s glory lasts and lasts.  So, what we have been praying about, we can realize.  Why can we realize the answers to our prayers?  Because the One to whom we are praying, He is able to answer our prayers.  God’s way of being is such that we can know His ways in our lives.  What do we say to this idea?

 

  1. Amen
  2. “So be it”
    1. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 – David attributing great things to God
    2. The Jewish18 Benedictions – end with “Amen”
    3. Several doxologies are found in the Old Testament (e.g. Ps. 29:1)
    4. Jesus is our “Amen” – Revelations 3:14
  3. We agree, maybe like the crowd in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11)
    1. As Jesus was headed into Jerusalem, he sent his disciples ahead to get a donkey & its colt
    2. Jesus road the donkey into Jerusalem
    3. The crowds shouted: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
    4. Later that week, they would shout something different: “Crucify him!”
  4. Over the years, “Amen” has come to mean that we agree with what has been said.  Yet, we know that our agreement may be short lived.  Maybe we need to keep on praying the Lord’s Prayer so that we live out the “Amen.”  Archbishop Temple (of Canterbury, who developed an Anglican social theology): “It is the prayer you would want to offer if you loved God with all your heart.” I hope we can love God with all of our hearts.  We do know that Jesus loves us with all of his heart.  He went to the cross to show us.  Maybe we need to find our cross and carry it as well.

This has not been your typical Palm Sunday sermon.  We do want to recognize that God has a kingdom.  We do want to recognize that God has power at work in our lives.  We do want to realize that God’s glory is different than our glory.  God’s kingdom is unshakable and will last for time beyond time.

It is when we say this prayer that we say we believe what God has, and he will bring all that he has into our lives.  John Wesley was told to preach faith until he had it.  Then when he had faith, he was to keep on preaching faith.  That idea rings true for our praying the Lord’s Prayer.  We keep on praying it until we see God working in our lives. Then when we see God working, we keep on praying – till we are found in God’s kingdom, doing God’s will here on earth.

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