The Lord’s Prayer – Part 4
The Lord’s Prayer – Part 4
Today is the fourth and final sermon in the series on the Lord’s Prayer. We consider the final stanza’s of the prayer, where we acknowledge that “The kingdom, the power and the glory belong to God forever and ever. You can catch up on the sermon series by reading Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the Lord’s prayer at the respective links.
The Lord's Prayer - Part 4
Now it’s time to bring it all together. We’ve been looking at the Lord’s Prayer for these past few weeks. We’ve discovered that the Lord’s Prayer is a dangerous prayer, one that involves all kinds of risk of faith for God’s people who pray it. In the last part of the Lord’s prayer, rather than asking God for something, we are giving God glory and praise; we tell God that the kingdom, the power and the glory belong to God forever and ever.
The glory belongs to God. We are here because we are worshipping God, that’s it. The primary reason we are here is to offer God our worship and praise and in doing so we glorify God. We sing the hymn:
Thine be the glory,
Risen, conquering Son.
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won!
Our reading from Hebrews reminds us that, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” God’s glory, made known in Jesus Christ.
God gets the glory. When we run a successful project here at St. Andrew’s, God gets the glory. Because it is not about us, it is about God.
There was a church once where after worship a member of the congregation said to the minister, “I didn’t really get anything out of worship today.” To which the minister was overheard responding, “That’s okay, we weren’t worshipping you.”
It’s about God. The consumer society that we live in wants us to believe that it’s all about the individual. It’s all about you! You need this to be smarter, thinner, stronger, richer. You name it, society wants you to need it. When we come to church, when we come to worship it isn’t about us. This time is our opportunity to say thank you to God, to take time and set it apart. Dedicating it only to God.
This isn’t to say that we don’t gain a benefit or satisfaction from worship and the work we do through the church. We absolutely do, I hope you do and I hope you find the worship and the work you are involved in through this community of faith to be of value and rewarding. You should feel that benefit, however that is not the primary reason that we gather. The primary reason is to offer God the glory God deserves.
As followers of Christ we are pretty good at acknowledging most of these statements at the end of the Lord’s Prayer. But where we perhaps need some gentle encouragement is in the area of power. Simply put as followers of Jesus, we sometimes fail to recognize that the power of God is at our fingertips.
In the Lord’s Prayers, we say that the kingdom, the power and the glory belong to God. But take note of this: because we belong to God! Through Jesus Christ, the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us by the Holy Spirit. And God invites us to plug into it. To tap into his power.
We are able to do this when we live according to God’s will as found in scripture. Additionally, we want to walk according to the Spirit. To do this we begin by telling God we’re sorry when we sin. We call it repenting. When we repent, we tell God we’re sorry and we show that we mean it by trying to avoid doing it again. The lifestyle of the follower of Christ is one of turning away from sin and living different than we did before we started to follow Jesus.
Living differently than we did before we started to follow Jesus is one of the biggest challenges that faces the Christian church in our day. If we’re going to follow Christ, God calls us to live differently than we did before we followed Christ. That’s living according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. We want to live out a faith that’s going to make a difference in the world. When we live differently than we used to, people will see that difference and wonder what it is about us that has changed. And we can talk tot hem about our relationship with the Lord. It doesn’t mean being perfect, but it does mean reorienting our lives and living a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Any believers who truly pray the Lord’s Prayer and rely on God will tell you that when they do, they’re never the same after that. They have changed, and are making a difference in the world, a difference for Jesus, a difference that brings the power of God into the world in a way that pleases God. We please God when we plug in his power in our lives, by being in Christ Jesus, by walking according to the Spirit.
At the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer we say the words ‘Thy kingdom come’. At the end of the prayer we reference the kingdom along with the power and the glory. The kingdom gets double mention in the Lord’s Prayer, that should inform us about the significance of the kingdom.
For many of us the kingdom can remain a very abstract concept. When exactly is the kingdom, where exactly is the kingdom? Is this terminology for heaven or are we talking about something else? The word kingdom itself is odd in our modern parlance, we don’t have many kingdoms left. What we once called kingdoms we now refer to as countries.
I believe the kingdom is in the here and now and has been so since Jesus Christ came and walked with us. Since he sat and broke bread with us, since he died on the cross for us and rose again defeating death.
The kingdom is what you and I participate in. When we feed the hungry, when we advocate for the poor we are living our kingdom values. We are saying this is important and in many cases we are saying this isn’t just and needs to change.
But the kingdom is God’s, not ours. We are asked to be stewards of something much larger than ourselves and to offer up our work as a sacrifice wholly pleasing to God.
Because it is to God that kingdom, the power and glory belong. Forever and ever. Amen.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cobourg is part of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The congregation was established in 1833 and continues to serve the community.