Sermon for 28 March 2021

The Last Phrase of the Lord’s Prayer on Palm Sunday

The last part of the Lord’s Prayer ties in with Palm Sunday perfectly. If I had been more intelligent I would have planned it.
The final phrase is “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever “ Amen
This phrase at the end of the prayer isn’t found in all denominations.

When I was little I knew that the Roman Catholic church was just wrong. We the protestants, had broken away from them because we were the true church. I knew that a good protestant didn’t marry a Roman catholic. I knew that a Roman Catholic would never be the president of the United States. And I know that they had a different bible and they didn’t say the Lord’s Prayer right. So when I found out that the last line of the prayer was not in their bible I looked with confidence to see that it was in ours. It wasn’t. I was using the New Revised Standard Version.

I quickly looked in the King James Version because we were in a time when everything was changing and there were new versions of the bible. But the King James Version was still the go-to when there was a discussion. I found that the final phrase of the Lord’s Prayer was in Matthew but not in Luke.

Suddenly my world changed. Roman Catholics might have some credibility. I might be able to date one.
But more importantly it raised the question of why was it in our prayer. It still is. When I do a wedding and they want the LP I ask which version they want and most people on both sides of the discussion have no idea that there is another version.

The line itself is not really part of the original bible. There is a version of the original manuscript called the Didache which is from the first century and it includes “For yours is the power and the glory forever”. That is about the only instance. Most early versions do not include it at all.
The phrase as we know it came into existence in the 4th or 5th century. Many sources point to Queen Elizabeth I, whose subjects in the 1500s wanted to differentiate the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, which had excommunicated her father, King Henry VIII.

It can be found and not found in various traditions and churches. As I said I think it is perfect for Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem just one week before he is executed. It is filled powerful moments like the people waving the palm branches and shouting hallelujah. It is also full of imagery like the act of riding a donkey. Part of the symbolism of the donkey was his unity with the poor. The donkey was also the animal that was not used much in war because of its cautious nature. It actually came to represent a figure of peace (like the Volkswagen van) The donkey also demonstrated Jesus sarcastic sense of humour. When great warriors returned from battle they would be cheered on as they rode a magnificent horse. I am sure there was a slight smile on his face as he watched the disdain on the faces of the mighty.

Back to the Lord’s Prayer.

Why is the last line, the perfect phrase for Palm Sunday?

Because it talks about God being the power, and the glory forever and ever.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem he was taking on the powers-that-be. The phrase we often use now is that he was speaking truth to power. When Jesus approached Jerusalem he was in effect saying there is a greater power than the earthly kingdoms. He was saying that God will last forever and ever.

We often think that we are very powerful but then we are faced with some kind of natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado or even an earthquake. Or we are faced with something like this pandemic and we realize how powerless we are as a human race. We often think that the earth needs us but if we all ceased to exist the world would go along just fine. In fact nature would likely breathe a sigh of relief.
I sometimes wonder how many times the earth has renewed itself. Are the iron ore deposits just old cities from a billion years ago?

The people who stood along the road as Jesus rode in, recognized that there was a transition of power that was taking place. The authorities seeing Jesus coming in also knew there was a change happening and they were afraid.

Suddenly that last line has a new meaning.
FOR THINE IS THE KINDOM – ultimately the world will be the fulfillment of God’s vision, whether we stick around or not.

THE POWER – you may be the wealthiest person, or the most powerful nation, or the most feared system or even the most loved but the day will come when that power will cease and you will just be a name in the history books (unless someone erases it).

AND THE GLORY. Yes we as a human race are pretty amazing. Look how we are doing church. But with all our inventions we have a long way to go before we are as impressive as the creator.

FOREVER AND EVER. That is pretty self-explanatory

Finally we get to a word that is hardly used anymore with hymns but we still say it at the end of this prayer Amen. It is an old word, used in the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith. It basically is a word of strong agreement. When you say it, you are agreeing with all the promises and hopes of the Lord’s Prayer
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem he was changing the dynamics
The Lord’s Prayer and Jesus ride into Jerusalem call us to change the dynamics of the world we live in. AMEN

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by 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. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE March 28
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers Cheryl, Aubrey, Cathy
Sunrise Service at 6:58

Hymn – 122 All Glory Laud and Honour
Scripture Mark 11: 7-11
Reflection
Intro Communion
Singing of Lord’s Prayer
Prayer before Communion
Communion
Hymn 123 Hosanna
Benediction

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks