Hallowed Be Your Name

Hallowed Be Your Name

It costs one million dollars to use the name, Krispy Kreme. They are the best doughnuts this side of heaven. I’m convinced that angels own the recipe and their melt-in-your-mouth creation is simply divine. My friend, Dan, checked into the franchise price and discovered if you want to sell doughnuts and you want to call them Krispy Kreme, the price tag is $1 million.

But compared to Disney, Krispy Kreme is pocket change. Last time I checked, Disney’s name is worth $15 million. You get the rights to the name with all the legal requirements attached. There are places you can and can’t use the name. Things you can and can’t do with it. If you pilfer, slander, or misuse the name, you will meet the well-heeled lawyers whose job it is to protect the use of the Disney name.

Hallowed Be Your Name

The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name … ” Another way of saying it is, “May your name be sanctified among us.” Now this should come as no surprise to us. We are the people of the Ten Commandments who know that, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not put up with any misuse of his name” (Exodus 20:7, NRSV). Again and again our scriptures warn us about profaning the name of God. Talk about name brand creation and protection! This is serious stuff. God’s name is to be hallowed by his people.

So how did we get God’s name? When were we given the right to use it in the first place?

  • We’ve plastered it on our churches hospitals and schools.
  • We sew it on our hoodies, handbags, and T-shirts.
  • We’ve written it in songs, books, poems, and plays.
  • We’ve attached it to our causes, actions, and appeals.
  • We affix God’s name to our opinions, decisions, and explanations.
  • Political parties bless in God’s name.
  • Merchants and musicians sell in God’s name.
  • Nations pledge in God’s name.

How did we get God’s name?

He gave it to us.

There is massive power in the name – the kind of power we frail humans would like to get our hands on and use for our own purposes – which is probably why when the Israelites got to the foot of the Mountain of Law, God said, “Don’t take my name in vain. Don’t use my name for what I am not doing.”

We profane the name of God when we forge God’s name to our wishes. A congregant once told me that God had told him that I should give him $100. God never bothered to tell me. An employee once announced that God had revealed to her that I was to hire her to do specific task at a specific price.

Silly, I know. But is it any more a misuse of the name of God than to announce that 9/11 was the judgment of God on America, or the tsunami in Bangladesh was God’s judgment on Muslims, or the hurricane in Haiti was God’s way of getting even for all the witch doctors in their country?

People write lots of opinion checks and forge them with God’s name. This profanes the name of God.

I’ve seen men take the scriptures about the husband being head of the wife and treat their spouse like a subservient human, and label it God. Wars have been fought in the name of God that had nothing to do with God. Prejudices have stood for centuries with God’s will affixed to their rationale. Sexual abuse has occurred under the name of God.

We get hold of this powerful name and use it for our own purposes without any thought of the character and mission of God. If we did that with Krispy Kreme or Disney, we’d be sued for all we’re worth.

But before I pronounce the final sentence on all profaners of the name of God, I must confess that in my own life I have profaned the name of God – when I was unlike-God while bearing his name, when my responses were impolite, when my priorities were skewed, when my checkbook was more materialistic than generous, when my thoughts about my enemies were vengeful, when my words were misleading. When our actions and words and deeds profane the God we claim to follow and serve, the name is not hallowed in us or among us.

And that’s why we pray the prayer – “hallowed be your name.” It is a petition of sorts that requires action from God.

Today’s post is an excerpt from The Lord’s Prayer: Imagine it Answered.


  1. Linda Stone says

    Love it!

Speak Your Mind