The Glower Forever

For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

This Sunday at church, I was praying the Lord’s Prayer, and I got tripped up in my words. Instead of saying, “the power and the glory forever,” I put the two words together and said, “the glower forever.”

What a perfect mistake to make at the beginning of Holy Week. To end the prayer suggesting that Jesus is glowering forever. A glower is an angry stare or a scowl. This is certainly the week that Jesus had plenty to scowl about.

The money changers in the temple — glower

The hypocrisy of the religious leaders — glower

The refusal of Peter to let Jesus wash his feet — glower

The betrayal of Judas — glower

The denial of Peter — glower

The inability of the disciples to stay awake — glower

The arrest in the garden — glower

The painful indignity of the trial — glower

The cross — glower

Did Jesus actually glower at all of these events? I don’t know. But he had every right to. Holy Week offers many examples of humans at their worst. The very week that Jesus offers a sacrifice of love is the same week when the whole world seemed to show that it didn’t deserve it.

The ending of the Lord’s prayer, “For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever” doesn’t actually show up in scripture. It’s a conclusion that the early church added to the ending of the prayer as found in Matthew and Luke. This is an appropriate thing to do, and a fitting response to the prayer Jesus gave us. These are our words, our response to the words we’ve been given. They are words of praise.

I think some people are too ashamed or feel too undeserving of God’s grace to offer up praise during Holy Week. They assume it is a week to ponder how very bad humans are, and so they choose to skip over the pain of Jesus’ final days and take comfort in the reassurance of Easter.

I understand that. Who wants to dwell on a glowering Jesus, staring you right in the face and saying, “How could you?” Other people have been raised to believe in an angry God, that God is literally glowering forever.

But I don’t believe Jesus is a figure of condemnation and disgust with humanity. Remember his words, “Father forgive them?” Yes, that fits with the Jesus who walked through this most difficult of weeks. Look back at the list above and replace “glower” with “forgiveness”. Doesn’t that fit better?

When we ascribe the Kingdom, power, and glory to God, we are acknowledging someone who transcends the worst we humans can offer up and loves and forgives us just the same. That is displayed not just on Easter, but in the days that lead up to it.

That doesn’t mean I’d begrudge Jesus an annoyed or disappointed look here and there. He was fully human, after all.

But the next time you pray the Lord’s prayer, when you ask God to forgive your sins/debts/trespasses,

take heart that God’s Son showed us a love…

that was fully divine.

Have a great week,


One thought on “The Glower Forever

  1. I do believe in Jesus’ forgiveness, but I have a hard time believing that God the Father isn’t scowling at some of the things going on today! I was surprised the first time I read my New Testament how harsh some of the expectations of us are. I try my hardest (well, most days!) to be a good and loving Christian. I just hope there is glorious forgiveness for my sins!


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