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Sermons on the Lord’s Prayer - Hallowed Be Thy Name
Date: 
Sun, 03/20/2011 (All day)

 

Hallowed is not a word we use all the time.  In fact there are only two times in normally that you might say it - one is Halloween - all hallow’s eve. Maybe you might think of that

And the other is the Lord’s prayer.

 

So it is not surprising to hear a story about a little boy who says to his Sunday school teacher why God’s name is Harold

Harold she says?  And he says - Yes - every morning we pray - Our Father Harold me thy name.

 

No - not Harold - Hallowed - Hallowed - better word - HOLY.

And this story is cute but it does remind us that this is not a prayer for children.

This is a prayer for mature adults - who are seeking to be closer toGod - to be transformed, empowered, emboldened, ignited, encouraged - it is SOME prayer

 

Hallowed be thy name

The first thing you notice about this - statement is that it is an imperative.  Hallowed be your name - cause your name to be holy

Hallow - - holy, consecrate, set apart - to respect greatly

Often in various translations - the word HOLY is used where Hallow is here

 

To Hallow the name of God is to treat it differently from all other names

Certainly one of the meanings that we might understand from “Hallowed be thy name” is that we should be careful how we use God’s name in our speech - (and in our texting)

Taking special care to refrain from light, meaningless, and profane references to God in our daily speech - (OMG)

 

To Hallow - to make something holy is an idea - a concept which is becoming more and more removed from our lives.

 

We have less respect for authority than ever - teachers, parents, public leaders

None of us dress up like we used to - there is no place that you can’t go - theatre, nice restaurants, church- where you might not see people in jeans and sweatshirts

 

There is no protection for public figures- may have been respect for the presidency that we did not see FDR in a wheelchair and now we ask our president if he wears boxers or briefs

 

So, having said all that I want to begin with an understanding of the Holiness of God

Hallowing God’s name is recognizing that God is wholly other than us.

There was a Biblical scholar named Rudolph Otto who once made an extensive study of what he called - “The Idea of the Holy”

He analyzed the descriptions that people in many ages from many cultures gave of their experience of the divine

He wondered - what do people feel inside when they believe they are in contact with a power or powers bigger than themselves?

 

And he found that people reported 2 overwhelming feelings

“If in a mystic moment you feel something drawing you into the situation, something powerful like a magnet

And if, at the same time something within you is afraid, resisting wanting to move back - withdraw

If you feel yourself wanting to run toward and run away from the moment at once - you can be fairly sure that you are on Holy Ground.

 

We hallow God’s name when we recognize the Holy character of God and we are forced to take him seriously

“Mysterius tremendum - something that calls us to him and causes us to want to flee.

Reverence - we do not want to misuse the name of this holy one.

So, this is a whole lot more than just saying - stop swearing  - this is about not using God in ways that are not God’s ways

 

Awe - which means we stop limiting God.  Our meditation today is by St Francis whose whole life hallowed the name of God.  God who is bigger than any name or descriptor we can give. God is more than you know or I know.

 

Secondly we hallow God’s name as we recognize God’s presence. God’s holy presence with us -

Think about Moses and the Burning Bush as a holy moment in an ordinary life - the inbreaking of God into the mundane and ordinary moment of life

It was not the ground that was holy -

It is the fact that this ground was the site of God’s activity

 

We come together in our lives with the possibility of Holiness

Holiness as we are washing the dishes and folding the laundry

Holiness as we drive to work

Holiness as we wake up and have our morning coffee

Holiness as we sit together this morning

 

Only, of course, if we are aware, expectant, at peace,

And it helps to be present

 

Do you remember Erma Bombeck

She wrote this one time

“I’m reminded of a reader who wrote that she was planning a brunch for 10, yelling at her teenage son to be sure to lock the front door, biting off a hangnail and at the same time she was making love to her husband!”

 

We rarely do one thing at a time, do we - listen to the news as we exercise, read and watch tV, eat and drive,

Remember that somehow in the midst of our busyness, God is present to us if we can stop, slow down, listen, pay attention

“Eternal Instants”

Holiness is a quality of life and we Hallow God’s name

Truly praying “Hallowed be thy name” means that we accept each day as a precious gift from God – Each person we meet – even the difficult ones who teach us humility and patience are a special present

 

Two weeks ago I took a silent retreat - because I have learned I need to do this - have time away to be with God

 

And I sat in a chair in a sunny room and watched a bird fly past the window against a blue sky and felt that holiness of God’s presence

 

And almost God’s voice speaking - to say - I am glad you are here with me

I am glad you see the beauty of this day

Rest with me.

A holy life is an ordinary life in which we are open to God

 

But there is one more characteristic - we hallow God’s name when we make a decision to be His.  To carry his name.

 

If we call ourselves Christian, what we do hallow’s God’s name.

Because - name is about reputation.

 

There is an old story you may know about Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king and

world-conqueror in the 4th century BC. On one of his military missions, a young deserter

from his army was brought before him. The king asked the young man: “What is your

name?”

Timidly, the deserter replied: “My name is Alexander”

Furious at this, the king asked him again: “What is your name?”

Again came the reply: “My name is Alexander.”

To which Alexander the Great said: “Then change your conduct or change your name.”

 

Hallowed be thy name – means “Cause your name to be hallowed.” It is a plea that God would do something about his name. It is a plea that God would cause it to be hallowed in our hearts and in the hearts of all people

We wear his name - God’s name - and God wants us to grow into all the characteristics of God - loving, strong, forgiving, wise, patient.   Our conduct should be growing to reflect God in us.

 

Hallowed be thy name -

I went on my first mission trip when I was in Bowling Green and we went to Neon Kentucky.

And before we went and during the trip I did something that I thought was great and other people thought was irritating.

I had a video camera and not only took movies of what we were doing - but interviewed people along the way - that was the irritating part

 

Anyway, at the beginning I asked one of the women what were her expecations and why was she doing this.

And I will never forget what she said - that this was for her - like worship.  We hallow God’s name as we work as his hands and feet!

 

And so I remember my last mission trip - which was with this church and it was in Neon Kentucky

And we were demolishing buildings -- not really we - they - I am not much of a hands on worker - I am an encourager

But that is beside the point - I have such a memory of standing next to a decrepit house and watching while 8 people - among them Glen Gerhart, Steve McCaw, and Alan Veatch - were inside the house on the third floor hammering at the roof.

And suddenly a hard hat appeared - and then another - and then another as they worked together and progress was made

 

And as I look back now - especially at the dirt, the work, the heat, and the heart of that week - I say - Hallowed be thy name

We wear his name as we serve him in a variety of ways.

 

And finally to be holy is to be set apart and I guarantee this happens. Holier than thou - yeah - that happens.

God sets us apart and it starts to show

  • the way we spend our money sets us apart
  • the way we treat people sets us apart
  • the way we talk to God and about God sets us apart
  • It is subtle but over time – it is more and more noticeable

Mother Teresa – “Holiness consists of doing the will of God with a smile”   And that is what happens to those who wear the name of God

And we are set apart because we have committed ourselves to the path of humility as we come into God’s divine and holy presence.

We know that God is God and we are not

We recognize that God is the source of all gives accomplishments and talents

And we come are privileged – not only to call God abba – but also to be given God’s salvation and power. May we as seek to live lives in such a way to bring honor to his name

 

And maybe the biggest change of the holy people is not what we say but how we have learned to trust

 

Our Father – Hallowed is thy name and we seek to follow you as your

That our HOLY God – who is more than we can explain or know is holding us in the palm of his hand

Quotes -

Any natural act, if halled, leads to God, and nature needs man for what no angel can perfom on it, namely, its hallowing - Martin Buber - the Particular Way

 

There is no one in the world who cannot arrice without difficulty at the most eminent perfection by fulfilling with love obscure and common duties.

Jean - Pierre de Cassaude

 

Hippocrates - “Things that are holy are revealed only to men who are holy.

 

Holiness includes what we call moral goodness but moral goodness is not the same as holiness. It is only a constituent. Part of it.  Graham Leanard

 

Holiness consists of doing the will of God with a smile.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Hallow the Name of God - is an I_____________

 

  1. Recognize God’s W_______ O_____________
  2. Reverence - do not misuse
  3. Awe - do not limit
  4. Recognize God’s P_______________
  5. Eternal Instants
  6. Recognize God’s Call to holiness
  7. We are Set apart
  8. We Wear the Name

 

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