Week of March 5
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Our Lord's prayer has given us a blueprint for the Great House of God. From the living room of our Father to the family room with our friends, we are learning why David longed to "live in the house of the LORD forever" (Ps. 23:6). In God's house we have everything we need: a solid foundation, an abundant table, sturdy walls, and an impenetrable roof of grace.
And now, having seen every room and explored each corner, we have one final stop. Not to a new room, but to one we have visited earlier. We return to the chapel. We return to the room of worship. The chapel, remember, is where we stand before God and confess, "Hallowed be thy name."
The chapel is the only room in the house of God we visit twice. It's not hard to see why. It does us twice as much good to think about God as it does to think about anyone or anything else. God wants us to begin and end our prayers thinking of him. Jesus is urging us to look at the peak more than we look at the trail. The more we focus up there, the more inspired we are down here.
Some years ago a sociologist accompanied a group of mountain climbers on an expedition. Among other things, he observed a distinct correlation between cloud cover and contentment. When there was no cloud cover and the peak was in view, the climbers were energetic and cooperative. When the gray clouds eclipsed the view of the mountaintop, though, the climbers were sullen and selfish.
The same thing happens to us. As long as our eyes are on his majesty there is a bounce in our step. But let our eyes focus on the dirt beneath us and we will grumble about every rock and crevice we have to cross. For this reason Paul urged, "Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to the things going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective" (Col 3:1-2 MSG).
Paul challenges you to "be alert to the things going on around Christ." The Psalmist reminds you to do the same, only he uses a different phrase. "O magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt his name together" (Ps. 34:3).
Magnify. What a wonderful verb to describe what we do in the chapel. When you magnify an object, you enlarge it so that you can understand it. When we magnify God, we do the same. We enlarge our awareness of him so we can understand him more. This is exactly what happens in the chapel of worship—we take our mind off ourselves and set it on God. The emphasis is on him. "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."
And this is exactly the purpose of this final phrase in the Lord's prayer. These words magnify the character of God. I love the way this phrase is translated in The Message:
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
From The Great House of God
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1997) Max Lucado