OMG! Seriously, do we really hallow anything anymore? That is the first thought that popped into my mind as I read through Lenten Journey devotions today. Our culture as a whole seems focused on un-hallowing, well at least from my view point. We lift up and laud all those who would poke skewer, mock and deride any sacred cows that might still be grazing on the pastures of our world.
Don’t get me wrong, often this skeptical view is exactly what is needed. But have we become jaded to keeping anything hallowed? How in this world of; false prophets, of “Vance the Sham-Wow” pitchmen who entice us with easy solutions, and worldly wealth and status, do we hallow God’s name above all else? I don’t claim to have a particular way of doing it, but it must involve putting God first in each of our lives.
This isn’t easy to do we have a vested interest in being in that slot ourselves. We might argue “If we don’t look out for ourselves first we can’t possibly hallow God’s name. But over and over the witness of scripture is that you only truly hallow God’s name by trusting God first and foremost in our lives. In trusting this God Jesus has us call Father, we find that as we do God’s will, as each of us is particularly gifted, we hallow his name.
I am an ordained Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I come from a long line of Pastors, including my father and maternal grandfather. I have a Masters of Divinity, sounds awfully holy don’t it? I am very grateful for my education, my ordination and my calling to serve the people of God to hallow his name each day in all I do. But I tell you what, I have learned more about what it means to hallow God’s name from teachers, plumbers, little kids – who aren’t even confirmed yet, boat captains, mechanics, and retired little old ladies in whom the Holy Spirit burns bright. None of those people I listed would ever think that they were teaching me what it means to hallow God’s name, but they have! I have learned more about what it means to hallow God’s name from these people than in all of the textbooks I read in seminary! Now those textbooks helped me learn to know the hallowing of God’s name when I saw it so you can’t necessarily have one without the other!
Where do I see the God’s name being hallowed? Most often it is in the small still places of life. At the bedside of a loved one who was near death. Having coffee with Muriel listing to her hopes and dreams for her family, community and church even in her upper 80’s or was she 90 by then! In the joy of music by countless organists, choirs and congregational singers. This list could go on, but I have already rambled a bunch. Suffice it to say that God’s name is hallowed in worship to be sure, but it is also hallowed as we seek to be who we already are in Jesus Christ.