“Hallowed be your name” —Matt. 6:9
But what’s in a hallowed name?
Dallas Willard says it like this: “May your name be treasured and loved.”
The Psalmists say it like this:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! —Ps. 8:1
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; —Ps. 29:2
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. —Ps. 34:3
Reverence and Respect – and Affection
I can only hope His name can become this precious to me. It would transform my life. To better understand, let’s think about names in our life, names that immediately evoke a sense of reverence and respect. Perhaps from history: George Washington. Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King. General Eisenhower. Robert E. Lee. Billy Graham. Mother Teresa.
I can think of a few names that likely summon reverence and respect, but maybe not so much affection. But when we combine reverence and respect with affection, perhaps names of family, coaches, teachers, and mentors come to mind – people who took an interest in our life, who invested deeply in us, and who therefore bumped the trajectory of our life. Because of this, hearing their name creates a warm feeling in our hearts. We pause, and think about what they mean to us.
Just as Jesus is teaching us to do at the beginning of Our Prayer.
Reverence and Respect
Exiled on Patmos, the Apostle John gets a front-row seat to what is going on around God Almighty, even as I write this. Jesus pulls back the curtain to show John – and us – God’s throne:
… and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. … 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. —Rev. 4:2
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever!” —Rev. 5:11 -12
That is intimidating, and a little scary. Reverence and respect? How could it not be? And yet, amidst all the thunder and lightning, and the one hundred million angels, we can approach this throne with confidence:
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. —Heb. 4:16
How can this be? Because when we have surrendered our lives to Jesus, we become children of God. And, because it is a throne of grace, not a throne of performance, his children can walk right up to their Father, saying, “Hallowed be your name!”
Next Week: “Hallowed be your name” – Affection