THE LORD’S PRAYER DOXOLOGY
August 12-14, 2017
Pastor Timothy J. Spaude
Text: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
1. A reminder to check motives.
2. A boost of confidence.
1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (NIV 1984) “David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11Yours, 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. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. 12Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
It’s called the Doxology. The end of the Lord’s Prayer where we pray, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.” In general a doxology is a hymn or statement of praise to God. You might think of the hymn “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” That’s known as the Common Doxology. There is some disagreement about how the Doxology got added to the Lord’s Prayer as it does not appear in Matthew’s Gospel account in the earliest manuscripts that we have. There is no disagreement that it’s been used by Christians for as long as anyone can tell and that it is a fitting ending to the Lord’s Prayer.
It’s a fitting ending to the Lord’s Prayer because whether it’s the things we pray about or the decisions we are making on a daily basis motive is important. Motive answers the question “Why?” Why are we doing the things that we do? What’s our goal? What’s our purpose? What are we about? More specifically who are we about. In our Bible reading our brother in faith, King David, had it right. I don’t know if the Doxology of David served as the basis for the Lord’s Prayer doxology but it sure sounds like it could have. “David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11Yours, 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. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all.” Here’s how this happened. David was near the end of his life. Some of you know of the ups and downs of his life how he could at times demonstrate great faith like when he went against the giant Goliath and great weakness with his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah. But this David was a man after the Lord’s own heart. He repented of his sins and was forgiven by God. In thankfulness King David had wanted to build a Temple for the Lord, a great Temple that would honor God. God said No. His son Solomon would build it. David was allowed to gather materials for the Temple. He gave freely from the wealth he had. The people gave freely. In today’s values about 4 billion dollars worth of gold and silver had been collected. Then as you heard, King David doxed. He praised. He acknowledged the truth. Since God is God He is to get the glory. His people were to live for His glory. Not their own.
Just like the Doxology of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us. “Yours is the glory.” God’s, not mine, not ours, the Lord’s. As we pray that prayer daily let the Doxology be a good reminder for each of us to check our motives. We need to, daily. Have you ever noticed how painfully easy it is to be about yourself? To live for yourself, to take everything you hear, every decision to be made through the filter of “How does this affect me?” But self-centered selfish living is not pretty in a 3 year old, 33 year old or 93 year old. Me and Mine don’t have to be taught they come naturally. It is the default setting of our sinful nature. But like David you and I have been rescued from the slavery to self centeredness. We have been freed to live for God’s glory and God’s kingdom. When David desired to build a temple to worship God his motive was thanks and God’s glory. But God had so much bigger plans in mind. The Temple worship pointed to the work Jesus Christ would do. Sacrifices for sin were pictures of what Jesus would do on the cross. A High Priest would picture Jesus as the substitute and mediator. The Temple Court would proclaim salvation is for everyone, Jew and Gentile. Whether he realized it or not by living for God’s glory David did work that would last forever and ever.
We get to as well. Let’s think about our existence as a congregation. In just a few years we will be 150 years old. That’s a long time. Wow! Isn’t St. Jacobi great? No. God is great. For all these years God’s people have been gathering to worship Him regularly and proclaim the Good News of Jesus. And God has used our past, is using our present and will use our future to bring and keep people in His kingdom. Today as a new school year is just around the corner and we install new teachers our thoughts turn to the school we operate. Why? For our good? So we can say we have a private school or our kids go to a private school? No! For God’s glory. To carry out His work. For our new teachers, why did you agree to teach in our school? For your honor? To get a paycheck? Of course not! To give glory to God. Whether we eat, drink, have a school, teach or learn, use God’s gift of Baptism, whatever it be, do it all for the glory of God. And brothers and sisters, something very neat happens when we switch from our natural born it’s all about me life to our Spirit born it’s all about Thee life. We find we are part of something much bigger than our own puny selves. We take our place in the kingdom of God that will last forever. We get to be part of the greatest work there is, the saving of souls. God’s is the kingdom and the glory.
And the power. That’s another way praying the Doxology helps us. It gives us a boost of confidence. David expressed that in his doxology too. “Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” In God’s hands are strength and power. God can do anything. When we pray on a daily basis we can ask God for anything. The Doxology reminds us that God has the power to do anything. But why should He? Why should He when we sin against Him daily? Why should He when sometimes selfishness appears even in our prayers? Why should you new teachers be able to count on God’s help as you take up your work?
The Doxology tells us why. God has the glory and the power. It is to the glory of God to save sinners, to forgive those who don’t deserve it. God combined his glory with his power on the cross in the miracle of Jesus substitutionary payment for sin. Yes we are sinners who don’t deserve God’s help. But we are forgiven sinners that He loves to help. He has all power and you can count on Him to use that power for you in the way that is best. There are days that you feel like you just don’t want to go on. Maybe you have a stressful job situation or you find yourself always surrounded by sin and evil and you just want to walk away from it all. There are times when the family and extended family that God gave you to be a blessing are just draining and exhausting and you wish you could ignore it all. Kids, with school starting soon, you may have some worries or anxiety about how it’s going to go especially if you will be at a new school. And teaching, even in a Christian school is not always easy. You have sinful teachers teaching sinful students who have sinful parents guided by sinful pastors. We’re not always going to get it right. But God has all power. Let your daily praying of the Lord’s Prayer provide you that boost of confidence that while you may not always get it right God does and in the big picture we are really along for the ride as He takes to our heavenly home. God’s almighty power provides a boost of confidence.
That’s why we say “Amen” you know. While for some Amen may signal the end of a prayer, hymn or sermon that’s not what it means. Amen comes from a Hebrew word that our brothers and sisters in the past used to express confidence. You could translate it, “Yes, so shall it be” or the Lutheran “This is most certainly true.” Or let it stand as its own word. Its purpose is for God’s people to let others know they have confidence in Him. And while in my church it is not our custom to call for a “Hallelujah!” or try to get an “Amen!” it is appropriate that when we say that word we say it like we mean it letting all know we trust the one true God whose is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Can I get an Amen? Amen.