The final phrase, or benediction, of The Lord’s Prayer is a grand crescendo in what has been a rather sobering prayer for mercy amidst a dark and battered world. It feels like all of a sudden light pierces the darkness as the speaker proclaims the forever kingdom, power, and glory of God. It’s a phrase that reminds us of what is true, good, real, and beautiful; that no matter how dark things get down here, there is light a beauty forever beyond its reach.
When The Lord’s Prayer was recited in the liturgy in church services, they ended with this final benediction, even though the phrase wasn’t included in the oldest original manuscripts recording Jesus’ words. It was added later by the early Church. Nevertheless, the phrase remains biblical, familiar, and ancient, so it’s important for us to study it, and it’s appropriate for us to pray with it.
The benediction provides three things:
- Frame: Our stories are most meaningful when connected with God’s overarching story. Everything about us is framed by the grandeur of God.
- Scope: Cosmic reconciliation of all things and all peoples for all eternity. When we pray the benediction, we are praying for all things to be made new.
- Goal: The cosmos set to rights with the King in His rightful place. And the amazing thing is that God invites us to join with Him in the work of answering this prayer. This is our greatest calling, as emissaries of God’s kingdom, power, and glory which even now are spreading throughout the world as people come to trust in Jesus.
Takeaway: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
There is light and high beauty that no darkness can touch. This is the end of our prayers, our hopes, our commissions: “For yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen”
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