Christians, Evil, and God’s Power

Yesterday in worship we discussed the final lines of The Lord’s Prayer:

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil./For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.”

I preached about Christians’ willingness to identify and confront evil, both the evil inside our own hearts and in the world around us, because we know that God is able to deliver us. However, this is not always an “overnight” process. We pray this prayer daily because God works in ways that often seem slow and painstaking to us. I cited the play Les Miserables. In the play, the main character, Jean Valjean, goes through a conversion and what seems like an overnight change of heart and life. But in the book, “behind the scenes,” that change is worked very, very slowly. 1600 pages worth of slowly! God works this way in our own lives and in the world as well.  

(I’ve been reading this copy of Les Mis so long that the cover fell off)

We also talked about the doxology at the end of The Lord’s Prayer. This was not in the original prayer taught by Jesus, but very early on (the 1st century) Christians added the doxology in the tradition of Jesus prayer and also to give God praise and glory, to acknowledge that all the things we ask for in The Lord’s Prayer can only be accomplished through God’s power.

We learned the meanings of several words that we use frequently in worship, even though they are imported directly from Hebrew or Greek. Those words, for a refresher, are:

Emmanuel = God with us

Hallelujah = Praise the Lord

Hosanna = Save Us

Doxology = words of praise

Amen = Let it be so

To discuss this week’s worship service topics further in your own family:

  1. See if you can memorize the meaning of the words above. (We will use “Hosanna” very frequently next week on Palm Sunday!)
  2. Talk about something in your life that you think God might be working to change, and how this is changing slowly (for example, is God making you more patient? more kind? less angry?). Remember, it is important for you to share as well; don’t just ask the kids to share. They need to see and understand that you are a work in progress too, and that God continues to work throughout our lives, even when we’re adults!