Hallowed be thy name

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Shorter Catechism

Yesterday we look at “Our Father”. It will be a surprise to few that today we move on to “Hallowed be thy name”. To the catechism….

Q. 101. What do we pray for in the first petition?
A. In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed be thy name, (Matt. 6:9)) we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; (Ps. 67:2–3) and that he would dispose all things to his own glory. (Ps. 83)

It’s here that we realise we are dealing with a seventeenth century document. If years of Shakespeare in school has taught us anything, it is that language has a tendency to develop and the words of the past become obscure. But fear not! Clarity is at hand!l

The main idea is that of glory, the weight of holiness which surrounds God. In the Hebrew, the word for ‘glory’ can also men heavy. It is the weighty presence of God, a spiritual manifestation that is so real that it bears down on us. When we pray that God’s name will be ‘hallowed’ we pray that his very holiness will be known by us and those around us.

How is this done? By “all that whereby he maketh himself known”? This is the beauty of creation, and the revelation of God’s will through scripture. It is by individual Christians reflecting the glory of God in their hearts, words and speech. It is also by God guiding all things by his hand so that they would bring glory to himself.

Hallowed. A weighty word indeed.

Our Father

What doth the preface of the Lord’ s prayer teach us? The preface of the Lord’ s prayer, (which is, Our Father which art in heaven, (Matt. 6:9)) teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; (Rom. 8:15, Luke 11:13) and that we should pray with and for others. (Acts 12:5, 1 Tim. 2:1–2)

Amazing Grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine; But God, who call'd me here below, will be forever mine.

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