We talked about what “hallowed” in the Lord’s Prayer means: “holy, sacred, honored.” “Holy be Your Name” therefore means “May Your Name be special, sacred, holy, honored.” That we can now understand. But why does Jesus say it is God’s NAME that is to be held in special respect? What is there about a name we are to revere?
First, we must understand that our names identify us. They mean something. They communicate history, tradition and values. Names are more than a designation, like a serial number. In Bible times a person’s name stood for he himself, his character, what he was like. Abram’s name was changed to signify God’s new plan for His life. “Peter” means “Rock,” a reference to Peter’s rock-like faith. In Bible times when you used someone’s name you weren’t just identifying him, you were identifying his character.
So what thoughts pop into your mind when you hear the name “God”? What character traits stand out in your mind? The Bible over and over uses the name of God to stand for the Person and character of God (Psalm 8:1; 20:7; 23:3; 25:11). We are told that “everyone who calls in the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). God’s name represents who He is. It embodies His character.
That’s why the Third Commandment says we aren’t to take the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20:7). Taking Him lightly or flippantly is the exact opposite of making His name holy, special or sacred. To “hallow” God’s name means to take it seriously.
So what is the character of this One Whose name embodies Who and what He is? We see Him clearly in Jesus of Nazareth, the One who came as a baby born in Bethlehem. He came to show God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). He is God with hands and feet, eyes to see and ears to hear. God has a voice. He touches lepers because no one is too dirty for Him. He speaks to beggars because He is never too busy for anyone. He feeds multitudes because He can meet any of our needs. He washes the disciples’ feet because no job is too menial for Him. He hung on a cross, rejected and tortured, because He loved us too much to allow us to be separated from Him for eternity. That’s the One Who’s name, Who’s character, Who’s person we are to recognize as holy.
Spend some time “hallowing” God’s name. Think of His holiness, His specialness, the honor and respect He deserves because of Who and what He is. Praise Him. Worship Him. Spend time with the first thing God tells us to pray for, that He be honored on earth.
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)