Lenten Devotional: February 22nd
"Hallowed be thy name."
As we begin today, let's remember something that we talked quite a bit about in the beginning of our devotional series on the Ten Commandments.
That is, that God's name cannot be domesticated for our purposes. God's name is hallowed and set apart to be used for only God's purposes. God is not a political agenda or five steps to happiness. God is also not a concept like self-esteem or freedom.
God has a name. God's first answer to Moses as to that name is "I am who I am" or "I will be present to whom I am present." God creates God's own identity no matter how we try to domesticate God. This God is sovereign, free, untamed, compassionate and holy. "I am who I am."
With that reminder, there are some ways we live day to day that make the name of God hallowed.
Will WIllimon tells the story of a college student who is the first person in his family to go to college. When someone offered the student some illegal drugs saying, "Go ahead, try it. It'll make you feel good." The student replied, "No."
"Don't be so uptight" said the drug dealer. "Nobody is going to know that you tried a little dope, got a little high."
"That's not the point," said the student. "The point is that my mother cleaned houses and washed floors to send me to this college. I am here because of her. I am here for her. I wouldn't do anything that might demean her sacrifice for me."
This story comes close to what it means to keep God's named hallowed. Christians don't cheat in their marriages, don't bless war, don't live in fear, don't exclude those different than them only to get on the good side of God. We are rather to live in the light of our knowledge of God's character and God's name.
In praying the Lord's Prayer, in saying "hallowed be thy name," we have been drafted by God to be children of that holy name. We are commissioned to live out our lives is such a way as to make visible to all the world who God is and what the holy name of God stands for.
How do we keep the name of God hallowed? Live as children of the Holy God.
Holy God, we confess that the way we live has given you a bad name. Help us to live as your children so that the world might know the power in your name. Thank you that you are the name above all names. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Rev. Brent Barry, Pastor, NorthPark Presbyterian Church