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Thursday, March 9, 2017

03082017 Wednesday of Lent 1 - “Hallowed be Thy Name”

March 8, 2017
“Hallowed be Thy Name”
It is very clear during our Lenten Journey through the Lord’s Prayer that we learn something new each time we pray the Lord’s Prayer.  As we pray if we focus only on ourselves, we close our collective eyes to what God clearly has done and continues to do for us each and every day.  From providing us with loving family that forgives when we don’t deserve it, to God’s giving and providing us the shelter of our homes and jobs that we have to provide for our family.  The food we enjoy like the soup we enjoyed only a short time ago, before our worship.  These are clearly daily manifestations of God’s abundant love for us.
And what do we do?  Better asked, what should we do?  The First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer answers this query and gives us the perfect response we should have towards God.  It is our opportunity to pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name”.  Not the names of people we know, but “Hallowed be Thy Name” God’s Name.  It is God Who not only created each of us in our mother’s womb, but God, Whose Name we make “Hallowed” is the Holy Name that we can lift up and have on our lips and in our hearts daily, not just when we are in a crisis.
Some ascetics, or monks who live alone and live lives of constant prayer, daily, hourly, minute by minute, saying the simple “Jesus Prayer”, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner” clearly honor God.  First by lifting up God’s Name and secondly by constantly honoring and hallowing God’s Name in their daily lives.  They pray and live this petition “Hallowed be Thy Name” constantly.
Martin Luther in his catechism explains about this petition, “Hallowed be Thy Name”, that we who pray this petition and prayer, do so, “that it [God’s Name] may be holy among us also”.  For this is why we gather as God’s Children here in worship, give God praise, sing songs of praise and imploring for God to help us in our lives to live lives that are Holy and Honorable to God and His Name that we bear, not only on our lips, over our foreheads with the sign of the Cross, but especially in our hearts that God keeps beating daily.
This is why we gather as God’s children, worship Him and teach our children God’s Word and this prayer in its truth and purity and lead holy lives that are well pleasing to God in order that we can pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name”.
One example of this is the Prophet Elijah from the Old Testament.  Elijah in his life gave God the greatest praise.  So clear was the Spirit of God upon Elijah and his life that he was given the gifts of prophecy, healing and the ability to multiply food for the sustenance of people.  Even Elijah’s clothes that he wore were given a holy and precious blessing that was passed down to his disciple Elisha.  For Elijah unlike most people did not die, but in the sight of Elisha was taken up by a chariot into heaven, because Elijah “Hallowed” God’s name.
We though not Elijah’s of our time can be like him and pray and live lives that emulate the prayer Jesus taught that said, “Hallowed be Thy Name”.  We through the power of the Holy Spirit given unto us by God Himself can live lives that are well pleasing to God.  We can daily as Koehler in his catechism says, “ask God to help us that by pure teaching and a godly life His [God’s] name be hallowed among us.” (p. 235)

For we as God’s children baptized through Water and Word, sealed by the Blood of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ that takes away the sin of the world, are empowered and blessed by God to daily call upon His Name and make it Holy among us.  This is why during this Lenten season, we gather and pray the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught, but especially tonight we hallow God when we pray this petition “Hallowed be Thy Name”.  AMEN.

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