November 25 - LD 47, Day 7: Hallowed Be Thy Name!
by Rev. Andrew Lanning
Read: Psalm 71
There are two ways to look at hallowing Godís name. Negatively, it is to avoid blasphemy. Positively, it is to honor and praise Godís name. The Catechism mentions each of these briefly.
First, hallowing Godís name means that we do not blaspheme Godís name. When we hear the word blasphemy, we probably first of all think of those who use Godís name as a curse word, or who use Godís name as a way to express their surprise, joy, or anguish. But blasphemy includes much more than this evil use of Godís name. Blasphemy is anything that lowers, disparages, or disrespects the name of God. For example, Acts 13:45 says that it was blasphemy for the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia to contradict Paulís gospel. By their open denial of Jesus Christ, they disrespected Godís name, and thus blasphemed. Our prayer, therefore, is that we never do anything in our lives that will lower or disparage the glorious name of God.
Second, hallowing Godís name means that we honor and praise Godís name in everything that we do. Interestingly, the Catechism has its eye not only on how we use Godís name, but also on how other people are led to use Godís name when they see us. Grant, it says, ďthat Thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.Ē We are to live in such a way that other people are led by our good example to honor and reverence Godís name. ďHallowed be thy name, not only in me, but by others who see me.Ē
The first petition is a glorious petition. It is especially glorious because it speaks of Godís grace. You see, hallowing Godís name is impossible in our own strength. Left to ourselves, we would blaspheme Godís name with our every action and thought. Apart from Godís grace, we would bring only dishonor to His glorious name. Hallowing Godís name can only be accomplished by the power of His grace. Therefore, we urgently and fervently make this first petition every day of our lives: Hallowed be thy name!