When I was a senior in college, my Grandpa passed away right after Easter. It was the first time I had lost anyone close to me in over a decade. And he was the last of the original men who had been there as a major influence in from my earliest years. It was a big deal for me.
The night before I was leaving to come home for the service, I was leading worship (singing) for a college ministry group of which I was a part. Among the songs we sang that night was Blessed Be Your Name. One of its lines struck me near silent in the midst of all I was facing: Blessed be your name when the sun’s shining down on me, when the world’s all that it should be. Blessed be your name. Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering. Blessed be your name.
Based upon countless psalms, the song reminded me that even in the midst of the most difficult of times, we can still give God praise. Not because God has got it all “under control.” Though God could control all things, God has proven that’s not God’s modus operandi. Instead, what God has consistently shown is that God is present, walking with us, though everything in this life.
What is more, remember a few weeks ago, we talked about what God’s name actually is – a word that comes from the Hebrew root for the word life. Meaning that life is meant to be lived, even in the hardest of times.
This weekend we will be studying the piece of the Lord’s Prayer that was not part of Christ’s original. It is the small snippet at the end: for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. This section is called the doxology (praise) and was added during the Reformation period.
It is important to remember why we say it every time we recite the Lord’s Prayer. And it’s for the very same reason that the song “Blessed Be Your Name” and the psalms repeatedly talk about praising God in the midst of trouble: because God is always with us, working to bring life and to fulfill God’s kingdom at every turn.
As we come to the end of this #summersermonseries, we hope that the lessons we have learned will stick with us as we approach this new school year and all that lies beyond.
Blessings, Pastor Janie