APC 22nd Nov 2020 “For Thine is the Kingdom,
power and glory forever, Amen.”
Welcome and Introduction
Good morning everyone and welcome to our Sunday Morning worship. Today we will be concluding our thoughts on The Lord’s Prayer as we reflect on what it will mean for us to pray, “For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.”
But first let’s take a moment to pause and to talk to our heavenly Father, let’s pray…
Loving God, we are glad to come and worship you, glad to sit in your presence and give you the honour due to your name. Praise and glory, thanksgiving and worship are yours by right.
You are greater than our highest thoughts, mightier than we can ever comprehend, before all, in all and beyond all.
Praise and honour, thanksgiving and worship are yours by right.
So we come acknowledging your greatness, marvelling at your power, bowing at your authority, rejoicing in your love, celebrating your blessings and praising you for all the mercy you have shown to us throughout our lives.
Praise and glory, thanksgiving and worship are yours by right.
Accept now our songs of praise, our words of prayer, the thoughts of our hearts, this act of worship.
Praise and glory, thanksgiving and worship are yours by right.
Loving God, we are here before you in the name of Christ. Receive our worship. Receive our faith. Receive ourselves. And help us to receive all you would give us through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Join me as we say the Lord’s Prayer thoughtfully and sincerely together…
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever, AMEN.
Introduction to Kids Video
Next Sunday is the beginning of a very special season in the Christian church. We call this season Advent. To help our children understand a little bit more about what this means in a moment I’m going to play a short video in which some young people explain how we use a decoration in church to celebrate Advent. So if your kids aren’t beside you right now, why not pause the recording, and call them in to watch the kids on the Superbook Show explain the advent wreath. And at the end of this video I’ve a few words to say to the children so don’t let them rush away.
(END Part 1)
Kid’s Video The Superbook Show – Advent Wreath
Kid’s Talk Summary
Hey boys and girls. I hope you enjoyed finding out about the Advent wreath. Maybe you could get your mam or dad to help you make an Advent wreath and then you can light a candle every Sunday leading up to Christmas. Next week I’ll have my advent wreath behind me here and each week we will light a candle and think about why it is so brilliant that God’s Son, Jesus came to earth. I’ve put a link on the church website and Facebook page to instructions of how to build your own Advent wreath. I’ve also put a link to a colouring sheet of an Advent wreath. So if your mam or dad hasn’t printed it off yet now’s the time to gently ask them to pause this recording and go and print it for you. Hope you’ve enjoyed today. Don’t forget to tune in again next Sunday. Bye for now…
Colouring Sheet Link
Advent Wreath Craft Ideas
Reflection “For Thine is the Kingdom,
the power and the glory, forever Amen.”
Do you ever talk to God? Do you ever just tell him how it is or ask Him to help someone in your family? The older I get the more I realize I don’t pray enough. The more I realize I need God’s guidance and help.
I think this Pandemic too has caused all of us to realize our fragility. I think it has forced many of us to pray again in ways that we haven’t done for years because when times are good it’s easy for all of us to forget about God or to feel that we can manage on our own.
That’s why I felt it was a good time for all of us to think about the Lord’s Prayer together over these last few weeks.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. I hope it has encouraged you to continue to pray or to begin to talk again to God. It’s always an encouragement to me to know that the people who spent 3 years as the closest friends of Jesus still had to ask Him “Lord, will you teach us how to pray?”
Today we come to the concluding part of this series. In actual fact, if we go by what we find in the gospels we have already come to the end of the Lords’ Prayer. Yet for many of us praying “deliver us from evil” is not the end of the Lord’s Prayer as we know it, for we have been brought up in school or in church to finish with these words “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.” They are known as a Doxology or ‘Praise’ to God.
So why do we say this phrase if it’s not actually part of most of the original biblical manuscripts? Well, the simplest answer is we say it because it is something that the earliest Christians said when they prayed together. We say it because even though these words may or may not have come from the lips of Jesus, they are all true and they are all a wonderful reminder of everything else that is contained within the Lord’s Prayer. In essence, they are the perfect conclusion to the Prayer of our Lord.
Many people believe that these words are a reference to the words spoken by King David in the book of Chronicles in the Old Testament. There, David was publicly reminding the people of Israel that even though he was their elected representative, that Almighty God was their real King. Ultimately He was the one they should trust in and look to. So we read in 1 Chronicles 29 v 10-13 King David praying this prayer….
“Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
David’s prayer can easily be summarized in the words, “For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever…”
What wonderful words to end any prayer we say with. But what do we mean when we end the Lord’s Prayer with these words each Sunday?
Well let’s take each thought and reflect on them for a few minutes.
1 For Thine is the Kingdom
The first is “Lord yours is the Kingdom” or “Lord you are the King”
If Brexit, the most recent elections here and in America, and this global Pandemic have taught us one thing it is this- life is uncertain. Many are fearfully wondering “How could all this have happened and what will our future look like?”
In all of our anxiety, there is something that it’s easy to forget. Something which I have yet to read in our newspapers or hear on the television or radio and it’s simply this- God is still the King. He is still in control! The recent election results here or in America did not take God by surprise. Neither did the outbreak of this Pandemic. That’s not to say that God is of one political persuasion or that he enjoys watching us suffering. Neither is it to imply that we take our hands off the wheel of life and refuse to vote or campaign or strive intellectually and practically for a better world. It is simply saying that despite all our best efforts and no matter what happens in the circumstances of life, God is still King. He is still on the throne and He will allow what He allows for His own eternal purposes and plans and ultimately for what will be our long term greatest good.
For example, when nations turn away from God and do not acknowledge Him as King they may inherit rulers who will bring calamity to their country. This is why we must pray for our political leaders and our nations, asking that God will guide them and overrule in situations and give us what is best for us and not just what we deserve. God is King! He is in complete control. He made the universe. Everything in this universe belongs to God and that includes us! Everything we have ultimately comes from Him. God is the King of our lives. He is King of our schools. He is King of our government. He is King of the Organisations we work for. He is King of our Families, He is King of His church.
You know it is so easy for all of us to forget that and to be consumed with anxiety. It is also easy to forget that and become proud. Promotion can be one of the most difficult things to handle well. But let me remind you as our world politics have reminded us so clearly recently that Pride comes before a fall. God will not allow us to take the praise and honour that belongs to Him for too long. He will not allow us to take credit for our own little Empires in business, education, sport, science, technology or in family life without any reference or deep gratitude to Him.
So often we speak of our time, our money, our talents, our achievements and our dreams. But ultimately none of these things would be possible without our Creator. He is the one who made us, who gives us our talents, who ultimately provides us with our daily breath. It is God who can give us a job or take it away in the blink of an eye. It is God who can raise people up and bring them down just as quickly.
Therefore when we pray every week, “Yours is the Kingdom” we are reminding ourselves that God is King, He’s in charge, we are not. Yes God is loving. Yes He is kind. Yes He is fair, but he is also King. He doesn’t owe us anything! And we owe Him everything.
To pray “Yours is the Kingdom” brings us great comfort in the knowledge that despite our confusion God is still in control. It is also a reminder to “Stop snapping our fingers at God and demanding that He answer us.”
So let me ask you as I’ve asked myself this week, “Is God the captain of your soul?” “Do you seek the praise of people or the pleasure of the Master?” “Do you humbly and regularly thank God for all that he gives you?” “Do you seek His wisdom and guidance?” “Do you love His Word and bow to His authority in your life?”
Praying “Yours is the Kingdom” helps us to put first things first and resist the temptation to think of ourselves as too important.
The second phrase in the doxology we say at the end of the Lord’s Prayer is “Thine is the power.”
2 Thine is the power
To pray “Thine is the power” reminds us of the important truth that not only is God the King, He is almighty and all powerful. Just think for a moment of the universe in which we live. Its vastness, its complexity, its intricate order, its stunning beauty, its tremendous power and potential. All of these things are signposts to the one who made it. Not some unknown ‘Architect of the Universe’ but the one true God, the Great and awesome three in One God, who has revealed Himself to the world in the person of His Son Jesus Christ! God is real. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nothing is impossible for Him who made us, for Him whom we belong to and for Him who we will all one day meet face to face. To pray “Thine is the power” is again a humbling experience for it reminds us that as gentle and loving as Aslan is His roar is fierce and powerful.
But perhaps the greatest miracle of all that this phrase reminds us of is this- the power of God that made the universe and raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the same power that is available to us on a daily basis through the person of God’s Holy Spirit who lives within us if we have repented and trusted in Jesus Christ. In other words, if you have sincerely asked God to forgive you for your sins and you believe sincerely that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you then God has not only forgiven you completely but He has placed the Spirit of Jesus Christ inside you! That means that the power of God is available to you every moment of every day. Power to overcome your fear of failure, power to say no to the temptations or addictions which before were too strong for you to resist, power to accomplish a task that you normally would not contemplate, power to speak out for the marginalized or on a moral issue, power to change the lives of others for the better, power to keep going despite deep personal loss, or chronic illness or ongoing difficulties. Power to be patient even in the midst of a Pandemic. Through the Holy Spirit who lives within us God’s power is available to us to help us and enable us to be a help to others.
There are many reasons why we often do not experience God’s power in our lives as we should. The first may be that we are not yet true Christians. If that is the case then we must come to Jesus, confessing our sins and asking Him to forgive us and to give us the gift of His Spirit. Another reason may be our unbelief. We forget that God has placed His inheritance within us. We fail to trust that God is able to do anything. We are warned in scripture not to grieve God’s Spirit or to quench His Spirit. God’s Spirit is described as a dove in scripture. That means He is sensitive. He is easily offended. He will never leave us, but to experience His presence and power on a consistent basis we need to keep short accounts with God.
We need to be honest with God about the attitudes and actions or speech in our lives that is wrong. We must confess these things with a sincere desire to change or to put right what is wrong. We need to keep praying and keep asking God to fill us with His Spirit to keep giving us the power to change from the inside out. We need to rely less on our own wisdom, our own strength and our own abilities and instead cry out for God to give us the power and help that we need for every situation. We need to pray, pray and pray asking God to come in power in our services to change us and guide us and motivate us and use us. We need to pray for other people and ask God to move in their hearts and lives too.
Let me encourage you to pray for yourself, for your families and for our church services before log on each week. If you do that and you are prepared to respond to what God teaches you I promise you that we will see a great revival in this place, in our lives and in the lives of many people…Why do I say that? Because “Thine is power!....” There is nothing greater than the power of God. Nothing in all the world, no intellectual arguments, not even the evil one himself can resist the power of Almighty God when He comes unhindered in our lives…Let us pray for revival….
3 Thine is the glory
The third phrase in the doxology we say at the end of the Lord’s Prayer is “Thine is the glory.”
The word for “Glory” in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word “kabodh” which literally translated means ‘a heaviness’. When someone who is extremely famous or an expert in a particular field we call them a “heavyweight”. When they enter a room, people go quiet. When they speak people listen. This is something of what the glory of God implies. God is so mighty, so wise, so powerful, so perfect, that there is a gravitas, a glory about Him that at times can almost be touched and tasted.
In the Old Testament in the book of Chronicles we read that when the glory or heavy presence of the Lord filled the temple the priests could not perform their duties. They were overcome, awestruck and unable to do anything but bow down in wonder and humility. In the New Testament the word for glory is the word ‘Doxa’ from which we get the phrase “Doxology.” A Doxology is a sentence ascribing praise and honour and thanks to God. The root meaning of ‘Doxa’ is actually “Opinion”. God being God, He has an opinion on everything. He decides what is right and what is wrong. We don’t. God’s opinions, His guidelines for healthy and happy living are wise and perfect. If we followed them completely we would live in perfect harmony with God and with one another. Since God knows His ways are the best for us He is a jealous God. He loves us and is jealous that His ways are followed for our good. That means that He deserves to receive all the credit. We should take His opinions seriously and give Him the praise, honour and thanks that He deserves.
This is what it means to give God the glory. It means to respect His greatness, to respect His opinions, to give Him the place He deserves in our affections and also in our willingness to obey Him in everything. Once we start ignoring Him, taking credit for ourselves or following the wisdom of others we rob God of His glory. To pray ‘Thine be the glory’ is to remind ourselves that God is a heavyweight, His opinions are the final and only authority in every matter. In praying this prayer we are saying, “Lord, help us to give you the respect and honour you deserve not only with our lips but also with our lives.”
Let me ask you, do you give God the credit He deserves in your life? Do you bow to His authority and respect His opinion? Do you long for His opinion to be respected by others? Do you seek the limelight and the applause of others or do you seek to direct attention away from yourself to the Lord?
Let me conclude…
As we enter the season of Advent what better way than to reflect on the doxology we say together at the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, “For Thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory.” Advent means “Coming”. It is the season that leads us not only to reflect on the first coming of God into our world in the person of Jesus Christ. It is also the season when we reflect that this same Jesus will come again, maybe today, to judge the living and the dead and to wrap up this old world and replace it with a beautiful and perfect new heaven and new earth. In that new heaven and that new earth all the billions of people who have ever loved God will live happily forever, enjoying all that is good, freed from every sickness and pain and tears and suffering. There the words of this doxology will become a final reality, for the King will rule over His Kingdom, His power will have accomplished His great plan of redemption and we will be eternally grateful and continually praise Him for His greatness and His mercy in allowing us to share in His Kingdom. So we pray “Come Lord Jesus Come for Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.”
Let us pray…
Lord, we can feel ourselves growing weary as the level 5 restrictions continue. So we pray for ourselves and everyone who is feeling the strain at this time. Lord give us comfort, strength and perseverance.
We pray especially for government leaders throughout the world who must be wondering how to balance caring for the physical, emotional, social and economic well-being of whole countries at this time. Father give them great wisdom and grant us all patience with each other in these days.
We ask that you will continue to strengthen all those working on front lines, especially those in the health care settings. We pray that you will give wisdom and resilience to all teachers in our schools and to our children.
We pray for college students struggling to cope with the pressures of online studies and the difficulties created by restrictions. Help them to persevere and provide them with every support educationally and emotionally.
We pray for people in residential care settings unable to see their loved ones regularly face to face. Father grant them all the grace they need to understand, to accept and still to feel loved and cared for. Give family members the grace they need and the creativity to know how to care and show their love in different yet meaningful ways.
We pray for all who are concerned about their jobs and businesses. Lord may the necessary finances be found to keep people supported at this time.
We thank you for all those working behind the scenes to create vaccines. We thank you for the positive signs in recent days that these may be successful in helping us fight the spread of this disease.
Lord, we continue to ask that soon a vaccine program will be able to be rolled out across the world and that through that, this virus will be able to be brought under control. Lord we ask that in your mercy you might allow this virus to burn itself out and that very soon we will be able to return to living and working in the freedom that we normally enjoy.
Lord we pray that infection rates will begin to drop again so that restrictions can be reduced during December and allow us to enjoy this Advent and Christmas season. Lord we ask that in your mercy we might even be permitted to meet together again in church during this period.
Lord, keep us safe, and help us to persevere in keeping one another safe. We remember all those who have lost their lives through this illness and all those who mourn. We think especially of Deon’s father in hospital and ask that you will provide him with everything that he needs to be comfortable and at peace. May he know how much you love Him and the assurance of all that you have promised. Give great comfort and strength to his wife and all the family at this time.
Lord we thank you for the eternal hope that we have in Christ. May that hope bring us all great comfort in this Advent season.
Lord give us the grace and wisdom to allow the stresses and strains that we feel to cause us to lean even closer into you. Help us to talk to you more often and with a greater honesty and sincerity. Help us to resist the temptation to doubt you and give us the faith to believe that you are still in control. Grant that our faith will stay strong and even grow deeper during these dark and difficult days. We thank you that a day will come when life will return to normality and we thank you that when you return, all sickness, disease, suffering and sorrow will be removed forever.
Take a moment now to bring your own prayers for one or two people to God…
All these prayers we offer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
It’s been a joy and privilege to share with you again today. Thanks again for logging on. I do hope if you haven’t already done so this year that you will consider supporting our United Appeal. You can make an online donation to the church bank account using the details on the church website. Just mark it as for United Appeal. Alternatively you can contact our church treasurer Aleida and arrange to pay in a method which is more suitable for you.
Do tune in again this Wednesday as we begin our reflections on the hope of Advent.
We await government advice at the end of this month as to what church services will be permitted in December. But recent comments by our Taoiseach have given us hope that church will be open for services during Christmas week. As a leadership we are meeting this week to plan for that. We’ll let you know what we are proposing in the coming days. Do continue to pray that if we return to Level 3 that the restrictions on church services might be lifted so that we can enjoy our Christmas season as a worshipping community.
In a moment I will lead you in a Benediction after which I will invite you as always, to say the grace together…But before I do please stay tuned in after that, as Alison and some of her friends sing the most beautiful blessing to candlelight. It’s a wonderful reminder that even in the midst of our darkness the light of Christ shines…
Know that even in the midst of darkness the Light of Christ will guide you and keep you from falling. So as you go about your week, allow the light of Christ to shine from you and light the way for others…And
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and for evermore, Amen.”
Song Alison’s Choir “The Lord Bless you and keep you”
Click the links below for the colouring in sheets and craft ideas link
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.