Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

May Your Name Be Holy Among Us

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“Hallowed be your name” may be one of the most misunderstood phrases of the Lord’s Prayer. Do we hallow the name of the Lord? If so, how does one go about this? John Chrysostom explains that God is full of glory but that we need to glorify God in our own lives.[1] If we follow John Chrysostom, then we must ask ourselves, how is God being glorified in my own life? Is God glorified through my vocation? Is God glorified by my speech and my actions? Is God glorified by how I treat others?

We might also think through the importance of having a name. Evil often masquerades under the name anonymous. The internet is full of anonymous comments that seek to tear other people down. The Ku Klux Klan wore masks when they carried out their evil deeds. It is amazing what some people will do if they know that no one will ever know they did it. God is the opposite of all this. He gives us a name that reveals something about himself. He tells us who he is.

If we are to pray “hallowed be your name” then our actions must match what we are praying. We must understand the implications of this prayer and we must be prepared to live out what we pray.

“May your name be holy among us”

Hallowed, consecrated, and make holy are all ways of translating the Greek word hagiazo. Hallowed and consecrated are perfectly fine words, but they are words that are rarely used. What is to be made holy? It is the name of God. The text does not specify the name of God but a statement like this easily brings to mind the story of the divine name in Exodus 3. Regardless of which name of God is being referenced, the point is that the name be consecrated among God’s people. We wear the name of Christ and we have a responsibility to live up to that name.

Other Texts

Psalm 45:17 – The name of God is to be remembered forever. When we remember the name of God we are an example to the nations.

Exodus 20:7 – There are ways of profaning the name of God and God takes this very seriously. We need to think through what it means to profane the name of God. We also need to consider that when we invoke the name of God in prayer this is serious business. We need to understand what we are praying and not use the name of God in a phrase that means nothing to us.

Heb. 6:10 – This verse shows the correlation between showing love for the name of God and our good works. “May your name be holy among us” is not just words we say or pray. There are certain actions that should accompany our prayer.

John 17:11 – Here we find God’s name being referenced in another famous prayer. This time Jesus is praying for God to “keep them in thy name.” We must remember that “hallowed be your name” is not something we do alone. God is involved. He is working with us.

Takeaway

To pray “hallowed be your name” means something specific. It is more than a phrase that begins a prayer. It is something we do as Christians. God’s name is to be made holy among us. We need to consider how God’s name is made holy among us at school, work, home, and in our communities. We also need to remember that we are not alone, but that God is working with us to make us into a holy community. God will use this holy community, his church, to reach out to others so they might glorify his name.

“When we say, Hallowed be thy name, we are admonishing ourselves to consider that his name, which is eternally holy, should be kept holy among us.” Augustine[2]

Psalm 111:1-9

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
    in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
    to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
    he has commanded his covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is his name!


[1] Ulrich Luz, Matthew 1-7, in Hermenia, ed. by Helmut Koester (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007), 316-17.

[2] Jan Milic Lochman, The Lord’s Prayer (Grand Rapids: Eerdams, 1990), 41.

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