By Not Known
The Lord’s Prayer includes the
puzzling line: hallowed be your name. What does this mean?
Perhaps it means that God’s name
should not be said aloud at all, or, always pronounced in pious
tones. On this basis, the Jewish community developed ingenious way of
talking about God without using his name, lest they be accidentally
disrespectful. We should certainly be careful about how we use God’s
name, but there is more to it than this.
What does it mean to ‘hallow’?
This is the word for holiness. To hallow God’s name is to treat it as
holy, special or set apart. To hallow God’s name is to treat God as
God and give him the respect and reverence that he deserves. We can
do this through our worship services and also by living worshipful
lives that are worthy of God and respectful of him. (Col 1:10; 3:17).
Psalm 138 gives us another aspect.
The Psalmist declares his intent to praise God’s name (v2). Note how
this phrase is an expansion, or near-synonym of the declaration that
he will praise God with his heart and sing God’s praise (v1).
In part, we hallow God’s name when
we tell others about God’s deeds. We might do this in the songs we
sing or in the words we say to one another. We can tell of God’s
deeds in church, when we give each other encouraging reminders of
what the Lord has done. Or, we can hallow God’s name before outsiders
when we bear witness to the gospel of God’s love in Jesus.
All of this relates to our new
Ministry Plan. One of our Values and part of our Mission Statement
relates to reverential worship. This doesn’t mean worship that is
dull and stuffy, but worship that has the deepest respect for God
because of who he is and what he has done. This hallows his name.
Our new Vision includes a
commitment to be a church that extends God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom
is extended as we follow the psalmist to tell other people about what
God has done and, like the Psalmist (w4-5) invite them to join us in
praising his name. This also hallows his name.
Finally, let’s not try to make a
name for ourselves as individuals or as a church. Let’s speak and
conduct ourselves in such a way that all glory goes to the name of
our loving and faithful God (Ps 115:1).