It begins with these familiar words: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name" (Matt. 6:9, KJV). As a child, I often wondered what that word "hallowed" meant.
In the dictionary, "hallowed" is described in this way: "to make holy," or "to treat as holy." So, the question for us is, "are we treating God's name as it is holy?"
When I was a young boy, I tried as hard as I could to stay out of (too much) trouble. I have lived in Goldsboro almost all of my life. My family is from this area. My mother and father have been involved in ministry and community efforts for many years, and they have a good name and reputation. I was terrified of doing anything that would bring shame or reproach on their good name.
Not long ago, I shared this same thought with my 9 year old daughter, Nora Grace. We were discussing some things that had taken place at her school, and I ended by sharing with her that she "had a good name." It is a name that I gave to her, that my father gave to me, and so on. It has been protected and cared for, and now it is entrusted to her.
As I was preparing a sermon on Matthew 6:9, I began to think about the fact that, as believers, we have been given a name. Is the name of God, our Father, hallowed by the life we live? Are we protecting it, caring for it, and passing it on to others?
In his book The Prayer of Jesus, Ken Hemphill writes:
“Unfortunately, a lot of Christians have had a negative impact on the gospel, not by deliberately blaspheming God’s name but by not being careful to live up to their calling at the gym or the office or the Little League diamond. Hallowing God’s name is a commitment that has anytime/anywhere implications” (pg. 49).
Anytime and anywhere. May we covenant together to "hallow" the name of God our Father.
In His Service,