Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

- Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory
- Augustus had brought peace to the whole wider Roman world; Augustus gave peace, as long as it was consistent with the interests of the Empire and the myth of his own glory
- the ambiguous structure of human empire, a kingdom of absolute power, bringing glory to the man at the top, and peace to those on whom his favor rested
- Augustus and Messiah; it is at his birth that the angels sing of glory and peace; which is the reality, and which the parody?
- Micah 5.2-4; and he shall be the man of peace
- Herod was worried by what the Wise Men told him; if someone had told Augustus what the angels had said to the shepherds, he’d have been worried too
- a clear statement of two kingdoms, kingdoms that are destined to compete, kingdoms that offer radically different definitions of what peace and power and glory are all about
- the two systems stand over against one another; Augustus’ empire is like a well-lit room at night; Jesus’ kingdom is like the morning star rising, signaling that it’s time to blow out the candles, to throw open the curtains, and to welcome the new day that is dawning
- it is this double vision of reality that we invoke every time we conclude the Lord’s Prayer with the words ‘For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever’
- it is the prayer that the alternative vision of reality may become, not just a vision, but reality; it is the prayer that the Messiah born in Bethlehem may be the reality of which Augustus is the parody
- when you look at the Word become flesh, you don’t see the sort of glory that Augustus Caesar and his like work for; you see the glory that is the family likeness of God himself
- Caesar’s glory if full of brute force and deep ambiguity; God’s glory - Jesus’ glory - is full of grace and truth
- Pilate confronts Jesus with two questions: don’t you know that I have the power to have you killed? and - what is truth? that is the language of kingdom, power and glory that the world knows
- in order to be able to say, ‘Support my kingdom or I’ll kill you,’ pagan empire needs to say that there’s no such thing as truth
- if someone not only tells the truth but lives the truth, pagan empire has no alternative but to kill them
- all power comes from above, and by getting on with the job of being the truth
- Jesus’ kingdom redefines the power and glory so that they are now seen in the manger, on the cross, and in the garden

[Adapted notes from Wright, Tom. The Lord and His Prayer. London: Triangle, 1996]
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