For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory…

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory…

“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory…”  April 3, 2020

As we come to the end of the season of Lent, we also come to the last part of the Lord’s prayer.  It is a section that you probably won’t find in your Bible.  It is the part which says, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”  Though modern Bible translations tend to omit the phrase, it has a very long history of being used in worship in the church. The Didache (did-ah-kay) is a Christian text written in the first century around 90 AD, not long after some of the first books of the New Testament were written.  This text has quite a bit in it about worship, including the longer ending of the Lord’s prayer.  So we know it was used by early Christians during worship, which is one of the reasons it got passed down.

I can see why those first Christians would have wanted to lift up this ending to the Lord’s prayer.  These words provide a framework around the prayer, acknowledging that God is the one above all, holding all things together.  As the prayer begins with recognizing the God who dwells in heaven, whose name is to be honor as holy and whose kingdom we pray is coming, it feels appropriate that the prayer would end by reiterating that it is God’s kingdom, not the kingdoms of the world, which has the power and glory that lasts forever.

This Sunday we celebrate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem as he begins the last week on his journey to the cross.  It is called Palm Sunday on the church calendar because the people laid down palm branches to honor Jesus as he rode into the city, as if he were a conquering king.  But Jesus is not connected to the kingdoms of this world.  While the people may want him to be an earthly ruler, his real connection is to the power and glory of God.  If Jesus would have been an earthly king, his power would have only been temporary, but the glory he was given was going to last forever.

I think we need this perspective when we are going through a difficult time in our lives.  When a struggle comes, I know I sometimes wish Jesus would just ride in and make things better. But Jesus has a bigger picture in mind.  He has eternity in mind, and while it’s hard to wait, there can be some comfort in knowing that ultimately my struggles are temporary in the context of forever.

Can this perspective give us some hope as we wait for the coronavirus to run its course?  Can trusting that God holds forever give us perseverance to get through the struggles we face in the present? 

-Pastor Erik Goehner