Hallowing the Name

Matthew 6 9 revised 2“Hallowed” isn’t a word I use much in casual conversation, but I say it every day as I pray the only prayer Jesus taught His disciples. To “hallow” means to hold in high regard, to render sacred, to revere. And so Jesus instructed us to pray that, as children of the heavenly Father, we would live in such a way that we bring honor to our Fatherthat we would “do His name proud” as my southern granny would say.

Douglas refuses to use his (our) last name. Instead he calls himself by a made-up moniker which is, he says, “to protect Dad’s name.” He believes by using another name he will save our family name and reputation from the costs and shame of his behavior done in the midst of mania.

But it is a trick of logic. Everyone knows he belongs to his father. He looks like him, shares his home and legally carries his name. The only way to “hallow” his earthly father’s name is to imitate him in integrity, kindness and love. Pretending he doesn’t share his father’s name is like a toddler playing peekaboobelieving another can’t see you because you closed your eyes.

The other illusion is the deeper one. By denying his father’s name he is forgetting his father’s love. The love of the father who takes on the cost of the damages done and the accompanying shame. The love of the father who forgives trespasses and delivers from evil.

The heavenly Father’s firstborn Son taught us, His siblings, to pray we would hallow our Dad’s name; but He also told us that when we don’t, we should be prompt to ask for forgiveness, and be confident in expecting deliverance.

The answer to our brokenness isn’t to change our name but to take on the Name, the Kingdom, the Power that the heavenly Father shares with His children.

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