“Hallowed be Thy name.”
A little boy wrote a letter to God. “Dear Howard,” the letter began.
“Howard?” the boy’s mother asked. “Why would you call God ‘Howard’?”
The little boy answered, “It’s in the Lord’s Prayer. Howard be Thy name.”
I know, it’s a cheesy story. But it points out that “hallowed” can be a confusing term. Halloween comes from All Hallow’s Eve. Hallow means holy. Holy be Your name.
In Bible times, a man and his name were intertwined. Think of, “Don’t disgrace the family name.” Names were related to reputations. A man was his name.
Martin Luther explains it helpfully in his Small Catechism: “God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also.”
God’s name is holy. We want it to be kept holy in our lives.
We keep God’s name holy by teaching His Word and living according to His Word. This petition of the Lord’s Prayer is similar to the Second Commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”
We dishonor God’s name when we teach contrary to His Word and live in defiance of His Word. Unfortunately, we live in defiance of His Word every time we sin.
Thank God for the Word made flesh, Jesus. (John 1:14) His name means “God saves.” (Matthew 1:21) If there ever was someone who lived up to His name, it was Jesus. If there ever was anyone who honored God’s name, it was Jesus.
God’s name is holy without our help. His name is hallowed in our lives when we love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Tomorrow: A Word to Control Freaks.
Yesterday: How to Talk to God.
On Wednesday, July 1, we’re opening the church from 7-8 p.m. for a guided prayer experience. It’s titled “Speak Up: Prayer Vigil for Healing and Peace in America.” We’ll be walking through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and praying for specific needs in our nation.