The Lord‘s Prayer: "hallowed be your name"
Hallowed be your name (help us to honor your name, Contemporary English Version)
As we come face-to-face with this phrase it appears to be a rather archaic word and yet in translation after translation it continues to be rendered hallowed be your name. Evidently this is because there exists no adequate word to replace hallowed that is able to communicate the essential truth contained in this word.
The word hallowed denotes: make holy, consecrate, honor as holy, to keep as sacred, to reverence and revere greatly. It is derived from the word holy that conveys moral and spiritual excellence and reverence.
Commenting on the meaning of this phrase Leonardo Boff writes; may God be respected, venerated, and honored as God is, as theone who is holy, the impenetrable Mystery, fascinating and terrifying at the same time, as the One who is Yahweh (I—am --- who—I – am) going with us and helping us, as the one who is Abba, a kind father, both near and remote, totally beyond manipulation by human interest.
For many of us it may seem a little strange to hallow/honor the name of God but that is because the use of a name, in the Old Testament especially, was a declaration of the truth regarding who a person was, a window into the essence of who they were. Thus we see Abram (exalted father) becomes Abraham (father of many) and Jacob (he grabs the heal/ he deceives) becomes Israel (one who struggles with God). It then comes as no accident in Exodus 3 that Moses asks God for his name, Moses was seeking to get a handle, a sense of who this God was. So then hallowing the name of God is tantamount to honoring the person of God.
1. What difference would it make in your life if you intentionally sought to hallow the name of God? What might that look like? What might be the byproducts in your life if you truly hallowed the name of God?
2. In the 10 commandments that God gives to Moses it states;You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:8) How do you see this relating to the hallowing of God’s name? How might your understanding of this verse change how you live your life?
3. As you focus on the sacredness of even God’s name what feelings are stirred within you? How does this make you feel toward God and God’s choice to enter into a relationship with you through Jesus?
4. Because of the sacredness of God’s name the Jews believed it was improper to speak or even write the name of God. As you reflect on that level of honoring God’s name how does it make you feel that Jesus, Paul and the Holy Spirit all encourage us to call God abba, daddy? How do you embrace the twin realities of honoring God’s name as holy (transcendent) and the familiarity that comes from being not only a child but encouraged to call God daddy (immanence)?
5. Read the following passage: Proverbs 18:10. What does the image used in this passage communicate to you regarding God’s name? Have you ever personally experienced God in this way? If yes or no please take time to think through how this impacts how you view God and how you view your life with God. How has it impacted your ability to trust God, to not worry, to know peace?
6. Spend some time pondering the two passages below. What are the truths presented in these passages? What feelings do these passages stir within you?
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:11
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9-11
7. Write a psalm/prayer that hallows/honors the name of God. When you are finished share it with God.
8. Take a walk around the grounds using the sights and sounds to lead you to honor God and honor who God is as Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer…
9. Spend some time worshipping, adoring, honoring God, not for what God has done but for who God is.
10. At the end of your day spend some time examining your day with the question how did I honor God’s name today? Or since one’s name and person are one in the same you could ask how did I honor God today, in word and deed, in things done and things I choose not to do?
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