At our All Age Congregation, Kings Krew, we have been working through the Lords Prayer, last time we looked at the opening phrase “Our Father in Heaven” (see previous blog).
On Sunday we looked at the next section, which I used to think was “Harold be thou name”, although we explored this together we remembered it was “hallowed be your name”, but interestingly everyone knew the word, but no one actually knew what it meant (adult as well as kids!)
I was thinking of the question “Who Am I?”
-We answer by giving our name.
The name we are known by effects our relationship with them, Doctor Who, is known as the Doctor “the one who makes people/things better”.
God reveals himself as “Father”, the source of life, loving parent, head of the family, provider, protector and the one in whose image we are fashioned.
As we explored what Hallowed meant, we discovered that it meant Holy, “Holy is your name”, what does Holy mean? We got some interesting Churchy words for Holiness, but as we dug deeper we got, words like “precious”, “perfect”, “unblemished and untarnished”, “as it should be and without defect”, “completely right”, “as it should be”, “the best quality”, “flawless” this idea developed into the phrase (unintentionally quoting Tina Turner!) “simply the best, better than all the rest”.
In fact we though of the verse in Isaiah 6 which said “Holy, Holy, Holy” -which describes God, but the reason why the same word is given three times is because there is no word for “very”, so it is saying emphatically perfect, perfect, perfect, the best, the best, the best.
But then we wondered “may your name be Holy” is a funny phrase as God’s name IS holy, so perhaps this actually is a call for people to realise, acknowledge and honour the Holiness of God’s name. In other words “your name is Holy, and may it be honoured by all people”.
There are many names for God, but we can’t simply sum God up in one name, in fact one time when God is asked his name he describes it as “I am who I am”, which become translated to Yahweh, which was an unsayable name, orthodox Jews today consider God’s name to be so Holy they write “G-d”.
Knowing our name is too intimate for some people, teachers will introduce themselves as Mr or Ms, rather than by their first name, to be known by their first name would give a familiarity they don’t want.
Joan Osbourne asked “If God had a name what would it be? And would you call it to his face?”
Christians know that this God, whose name is too Holy to speak or write down, was given a name -a name which is above every name- -a name by which we are save- and that is Jesus, “the one who saves”, “Immanuel” or “God with us”.
Chris Cornell sung for the re-boot of Bond in Casino Royale, and sung “You know my name”, God who is Holy lets us know his name, let’s us know him, intimately, informally, personally and authentically.
May your name be revered and honoured, as people come to know you God. Amen.