January 27, 2023
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“This then is how you ought to pray, [begin by saying] ‘Father, our Father, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6.9)
Every father has a name: one that is given at birth and one that is earned on earth. The name that is given has been considered as to what it means to the giver as an indicator of the identity to the family into which they are born. The name that is earned is given because of how others have been identified by that person in relationship between them. There is a great truth we are to know when it comes to the name of God. We know that God exists forever in time before us and in time with us. While God was not born, God has a name that is His true identity in relationship to all creation. That name was revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai. It was shared with Moses to teach him the power of God’s authority over him and over all creation. That name was special and holy. It was a name that was never meant to be taken lightly because it indicated who was a member of a family equally holy to God as God was holy to them. That name of God was never meant to be bandied about so that the presence of God could be seen as casual instead of causal. It was never meant to be a secret name either. It was to be known but engaged only in highest reverence and deepest humility. That name which was given was YHWH, Yahweh Elohim. The meaning of the holy name of God is I AM the God of all. And while Jesus is fully aware of this name and the definition of relationship it creates between Him and God, He knows that promoting such casualness which lends itself to “using the Lord’s name in vain” was akin to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It is that knowledge which is affirmed in the teaching on prayer Jesus gives to His disciples. From the beginning, the purpose of our communication with God is to “keep the name of God holy.” Jesus says, “Abba, Father, hallowed be Your Name.”
Jesus knows the name of God. Jesus also knows His purpose in response to the God whose name He knows deeply and spiritually is to give it its proper place in our lives- our heart, mind, body and soul. Jesus is committed to doing everything with this in mind. He is to keep the name, the presence, the essence and the purpose of God at the level of holy and righteous. Keeping this “first thing the first thing” allows Jesus to do what He is intended to do even when it seems that all things are working against Him. Honoring God’s name and keeping it holy was the invitation to dwell in the midst of God’s righteousness. In that state of righteousness, everything He would ever need to accomplish the purpose of His earthly life would be provided. It would be given to Him as a good father gives good gifts to his children.
It is our duty and responsibility to be in that same relationship with God our Father. Father is the name Jesus called God by. He addresses Him by the kind of relationship that was suited for life on earth as it was in Heaven. He was, is and will forever be, the Son of God. Jesus was His child in spirit and in truth. But, even recognizing that familial reality did not afford Him the privilege of calling God anything but Father. I cringe when I hear children today call their parents by their given names. It says to me that there is a lack of familial connection which should promote honor and obedience to those who are the parents. That disrespect may have been earned or it may have been fostered. To me that is an indicator of a deeper problem which may well relate back to the very groundedness we are to have in our relationship with Abba, Father. What a critical commentary! And in truth, the responsibility falls on the parents to lead in correcting that relationship. The healing of that relationship is fully dependent on the healing of one’s spiritual relationship with God. There needs to be a reconciliation so that where the “name of God is hallowed and made honorable” the name of the parents is reflected in the children. As the parents see themselves as children of God and call upon Him as “Abba, Father,” so then the right relationship between parents and children can be restored and reclaimed. I would dare say that the root of evil in the world today may well fall on this point. The lack of respect for human life from the moment of “imagining a life” to its conception, to its birth, to its maturation, to its transformation and to its final destination is evidenced today in the violence which fills our news broadcasts on a minute by minute basis. But, if we, mighty ones of God, do not exhibit such “hallowing of God’s name,” then why should we be surprised when no one else does either. There is a reason for Jesus to speak of the enemy of God and God’s people as “a thief, a robber and a murderer.” Are we guilty of such crime ourselves in the world and in the kingdom? Are we mocking our faith in God, our Abba, by not living as His children following the example of His Son whom He sent to earth to show us how to live, die and live again? If the Ten Commandments are anything they are the paradigms of right relationships which delineate how to “hallow the name of God our Father.” We would do well to let them be our guide in reforming and reshaping our thinking toward God and one another. If we desire hope in this world it comes from the establishment of our mindset as being focused on having a right relationship with YHWH, Yahweh Elohim, I AM the God of all.
“Father, our Father, hallowed be Your Name; Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done…ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” So as it was written, so let it be done…in Jesus’ name. Amen.