Hallowed be thy name

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Isaiah 26:1-15; Matthew 5:5-15

This one needs some unpacking.  Firstly that archaic word “hallowed.”

In modern English, the word “hallowed” is only really preserved for sports venues.  For a football supporter, Wembley is hallowed ground. For a cricket fan, Lord’s is hallowed turf.

Hallowed means ‘regarded as holy.’

But “holy” needs explaining too.  It means ‘set apart, devoted, consecrated, special, committed.’

And here’s how Jesus teaches us to pray.  Once we’ve recognised who we’re praying to – our Father – and where we’ve come – in heaven – now we pray, “Father, many your name be regarded as sacred/special/set apart.”

One final word to be considered: “Name.”  What is God’s “name”?

When we considered “taking the LORD’s name in vain” we saw that God’s name is His character.  It’s His gospel nature which is expressed in Jesus.

And so to put all this together, what is this prayer asking?  May your gospel character, as I see it in Jesus, be regarded as precious, first in my heart and then in the world.

What do you hallow?  Football fans hallow Wembley.  Cricket fans hallow Lord’s.  What is sacred, special, precious in your sight?  By nature it’s not Jesus.  By nature we prize things more than we prize our Lord.  By nature we are captivated by a thousand competing gods.  And so we pray, Dear Father, reveal more of your attractiveness.  Win my heart again.  May Jesus be my highest affection.  “Hallowed be thy name.”

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