Thursday, April 1, 2010

For Thine is the Kingdom

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Catholic wedding. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was looking forward to the swanky reception and the open bar, but that's not the greater part of what I took away from the experience.

First, all of us Protestants sat on one side of the church where we could be obvious in the fact that we didn't know how or when to cross ourselves and that we didn't know when to kneel or what to say. We shuffled from one foot to the next, admiring the the happy couple or gazing at the sanctuary with all of the saints who looked down on us benevolently.

Suddenly, the congregation began the Lord's Prayer. Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian--we all looked to each other in wide-eyed hope. Here, at last, was something familiar, something we could cling to with confidence. And then we did the unthinkable: we keep speaking when everyone else fell silent.

I learned then that the Catholic version of the Lord's Prayer stops at "deliver us from evil." We protestants were still going with pride: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and...(here the voices tapered to a whisper as we realized we were alone)...the glory forever. Amen."

I thought at that moment how we take anything memorized for granted. We knew the Lord's Prayer, but had we really thought about what it means to tell God: all power and glory, even this flawed earthly kingdom is Yours, forever? Of course, we know that everything belongs to God, but the ending to the Lord's Prayer--at least as we say it--affirms that we yield to God's will. That last line is basically another reminder of "Thy will be done." We are saying that all kingdoms, all power, and all glory belong to Him.

The next time you say the Lord's Prayer--and may it not be at a Catholic wedding--think about that last statement. I guarantee you can feel your heart lift at the reminder that He is in charge, not us.


1 comment:

  1. "For thine is the kingdom...." is a Catholic prayer but we do not include it with the Lord's prayer. Funny how some churches claim no Tradition... Solely Scripture alone .... but if you go to Gospel's Luke and Mathew and find the Lord's prayer as Jesus gave it to us there is not any reference to the words " For thine is the kingdom ..." So I guess it must be your Tradition.