For this final post centering on “hallowed be Thy name” from the Lord’s prayer, I would like to start by pointing out how this is appropriated beyond the conversion experience. We have seen that God is too much of love in covenant community to not allow atonement. God, while a mystery, is too universal to not grant accessibility to our response. What is it like “knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” in the purest sense?
God knew salvation would come to the world if His name could be called upon rightly in the context of sacrifice worked beyond that in Moses. God chose His plan to release the light of the gospel very much out of the box like a temple in Jerusalem.
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:11).
There are many who would interpret that passage as implying that the incense offered to God’s name would be the acceptance of the gospel. Although to accept the gospel is essential to ongoing Christian living, the incense assumes sacramental grace as the material used to God’s glory would have to be liturgical in nature. With that in mind Malachi must have been confused—one would think. Proper liturgy that was according to proper succession was through the bloodline of Aaron of the tribe of Levi and tied to the temple in Jerusalem. And this offering would have to be only in connection to the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. Such incense in God name would be improper under the covenant then. But not in a new covenant.
E for Eucharist
In the night before the cross, Jesus lays out what is happening but not for the first time. He had spoke about the engagement of God’s people in this purest way to connect to His sacrifice a few years before.
“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them” (John 6:54-56). Remember the point I made a few posts ago about the burning bush with God and not being lessened? The Son makes himself accessible that way every time there is a Eucharist. His holiness is internalized and actualized but never downsized.
“While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:26-27).
We can not have called on the name of the Lord without acknowledging all God is, what He has done and now does in the new covenant. This is not lost on Paul.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 6-7).
Interesting to note is that the word for thanksgiving is eucharistia. This is the word related to Eucharist as Catholics call the Lord’s Supper. In this context God’s name is most hallowed because everything He is is absorbed sacramentally by the partaker as one absorbed into sacramental life. The prayer and petition that is shown in the verses above is a sacramental meal. In fact, the most common setting for an epistle to be read when it was first delivered and years later was in the mass and verses above from Phillipians speak rightly to the prayer culture of the Church at that time. So as a Catholic do I know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? I know Him in personal prayer times and I know Jesus when I receive Him Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is a both/and rather than an either/or. But the mass gives a divine layout for the believer to press in.
D is for Dedication
But now to call on the name of the Lord in light of Jesus brings back to offering up a sacrifice like Abraham but different. Where Abraham offered up common materials unto God, we are called to offer up ourselves joined to the sacrifice of Jesus in true worship that hallows God’s name.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1).
So that is bringing the hallowing of God’s name to the real place of here and now. I was formed for many years in prior faith communities with the rhetoric of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. The wording can be pregnant with truth or dry rhetoric depending on the heart of the believer. But in a call to holiness that truly makes room for God to be all He wants to be in us, offering ourselves up to the God is always applicable.
“ I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Colossians 1:24). My hope for my walk with Christ is that as my sufferings come up I would learn to integrate my sufferings in His purposes when needed. With my sufferings added to those of Jesus it is a matter of wholeness in spite of suffering lending to holiness. To share in His sufferings having been touched by full gospel that is eucharistic, we get to “know Him in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). This is holiness not in our name but His.
But what about calling out to God as something more in a grand scale? As an amateur theologian, all I offer is what experience I have had the recent years that I have been a Catholic at the beginning of each mass.
In mass we pray “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” These words have mystery but are not unaccessible. I guess you would have to be there.
Hallowing God’s name can have context of outreach in this world and fulfills most rightly the words of Malachi. “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:20-21
Where shadow is fulfilled in substance…..
“Hallowed be thy name”.