“For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Chronicles 29:11-13
March 8th, 2008
“For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever”. We have reached the end of our series on the Lord’s Prayer, and it is fitting that the Lord’s Prayer ends with this “doxology” or worship and praise of God. For the last three weeks, we have been hearing how God meets our particular needs. He defines what these needs are, and not us. Those needs are daily bread, the need for our life to be filled with forgiveness both from God and through us to our neighbor, and finally that God would deliver us from very real temptations and the evil one himself. Today we move back again to where we started, to God’s glory and honor. Earlier we prayed to a merciful Father and asked that his name be hallowed among us, that his kingdom of power, grace and glory would come, and that his known will would continue to make itself known in our world and in particular in our lives. A few years back there was autobiography of Oswald Hoffman, the former Lutheran Hour Speaker, who traveled the world proclaiming the gospel. The title of his book was “What more is there to be said than, Amen”. In other words saying Amen is the ultimate compliment and affirmation of what God is doing and has done in our lives. To pray “Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, is really to pray an extended “Amen”.
Jesus himself probably didn’t say this in connection with the Lord’s Prayer (both Luke and Matthew do not have this ending), it is theme that is permeated throughout scripture. However, very early on Christians desired to end the prayer with this prayer of praise. It probably came from 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 “ Where David is thankful for the gifts that have been donated to the temple, says “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” In other words David just had to thank someone. His praise and honor needed to go someplace else. I had a pastor that supervised me during my clinical pastoral training. I remember one time he told me that during his time in the inner city of Cincinnati his church was involved with a number of social changes that occurred in that city. From housing, to getting drugs of the street, everyone was recognizing what a great thing this church and the various organizations were doing together. However, he said that for many involved in this project, the thanksgiving became directed toward themselves and not toward God. He commented that there was hollowness in the accomplishments when God didn’t get the compliments. Or maybe you have heard this scenario. Someone pulls an individual from a burning car, and the rescued individual later searches for the man who helped him, but he can’t be found. He needed someone to thank. Well as Christians we know whom to thank, and we know from his Word what he has done on our behalf. Jesus is thanked because he, and he alone is the one who has rescued us from all our troubles by bearing in his body all our sorrow, all our suffering, all our sins. Those who trust in him alone are brought from death to life, and the Word assures us that this is the case. He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.
We pray “ thine is the power.” We are so astounded with the “power of humanity” in this world. Humanity has learned to split the atom. We have learned to fly in outer space, and stay alive in the deepest depths of the oceans. We build sky scrapers that reach the sky. Technologies are expanding and changing every day. Yet, like those who built the tower of Babel, we can easily say for “Ours is the power, ours is the kingdom, and ours is the glory.”
However, we are gathered here tonight, because by the gift of God’s Spirit we know differently. Indeed God is powerful in his creative work, but his greatest power resides in his ability to cleanse, do away, forgive our rebellions against him and our neighbor. This power transforms lives, and hearts. Two nationals on the island of Okinawa came across a Bible which had been lift in their community by a missionary. They read the book and through it came to faith in Jesus as their Savior. One of them eventually became the leader of the town. The other started a school where he taught the bible . Eventually the entire town was converted to Christ. When the American army entered the village during World War 11 the military was astonished at the sharp contrast between this village and other Okinawa communities. One-hardened sergeant after hearing the story commented to the reporter. “I can’t figure it out—this kind of people come from a only a Bible and a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus. Oh, the word of God comes in very humdrum ways, it is not all dressed up. Words from a book, words from someone up front, power in this meal we will celebrate. This power doesn’t look like much, but don’t kid yourself, the message of the gospel is powerful. It is also true that on the outside Christians are not all that powerful. We have trouble, we fall into sin, and yes we get depressed, and we get diseases. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says Corinthians like says that we have this treasure (the gospel) in jars of clay. We are weak vessels that could crumble at any time. Why does God put his treasures into such weak vessels? To show that the power is from God and not from us.
To pray “Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory”, in fact puts us in the best situation. Some may believe this doesn’t give humanity enough credit; but the fact is when Jesus gets the credit, are significance in fact rises. For example, when someone becomes powerful and famous, others tend to ride his or her coattails, and they become famous too. So also we who are loved, and redeemed by the one who gave us this prayer, allows us to be all that we can be by riding in his coattails. When he is built up, in effect so are we. Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory. What more is there to say then Amen.