For yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
December, and we’ve come to the Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer.
Devotions and Bible Studies have been on the theme of “praying through the year” using each petition of our Lord’s Prayer, given to his disciples on their request, “Lord, teach us how to pray?” Writers have searched Scripture and the catechism, prayerfully seeking the Spirit’s guidance to help you, dear reader, grow in knowledge, faith, and grace through the Lord’s Prayer.
The Conclusion is also described as a Doxology or a short song of praise. It turns us from asking, to praising and thanking. It gives us the reasons for all our petitions. God alone is the King, to him we go for help. He has the power to supply all we need. He shall have all the glory and praise for what he does for us, both here and in eternity.
We finish with a resounding AMEN! YES, it shall be so.
December, and it’s only three weeks to Christmas.
Christmas, the time we celebrate the culmination of God’s covenant made with and for his people from the Garden of Eden to the birth of his son Jesus Christ our Saviour.
December brings the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the coming of our Saviour into our hearts and homes. It is time to pause amid the preparations for Christmas and give thanks for this most precious gift. I am sure that you would have stopped and joined the rest of the world in mourning the passing of our earthly sovereign Queen Elizabeth the second. Thanks be to God for giving us a queen of faith who spent the seventy years of her reign in faithful service to him and her people.
Many commented on the music of the Queen’s funeral, selected by her majesty, and expressing her Christian faith. Held in the impressive Westminster Abbey where the two thousand people attending, the choir, the pipe organ and then the lone piper at Windsor, all gave us a sense of not just the earthly but the heavenly kingdom of power and glory. What a contrast was the music at the Australian memorial service, beginning with Here I am Lord, then The Lord is my Shepherd, sung by a choir of girls accompanied by the piano. As people came up to place their sprigs of wattle in tribute to her majesty the pianist played a simple variation of Away in a Manger and continued with a series of other recognisable gentle pieces. Our God who reigns from heaven in power and glory also came to be one of us as a babe in the humble manger.
Whatever your choice of music to praise and give thanks, take time in December to listen and refresh your soul. A mother who played Handel’s Messiah while doing the ironing, left a lasting memory in her daughter’s heart. All the words are direct Bible quotes and the Hallelujah Chorus with its resounding Amen, Amen, Amen, imprints the “Yes, Yes, Yes, it shall be so!” answer to our prayer.
Christmas may not be the time of undiluted joy as loneliness, grief, loss, and pain are also part of this season.
In AT 261, From heaven you came, helpless babe, Robin Mann reminds us that Christmas leads on to Easter and the cross of Calvary. Yet our resurrection faith gives us the courage to continue to sing,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him all creatures here below,
Praise him above you heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.