There is one simple rule of life which every Christian ought to hold in absolute acceptance: God is God, and I am not.
How wonderful it is, then, that God made us capable of worship. Human beings are made to sing, and praise, to meditate on holy things, and to bow down in worship before “holy mysteries.” All humans are capable of performing acts of worship, but we are called in Christ to offer worship exclusively to the living God. We are resolved that nothing else in heaven or on earth will have a place of reverence in our hearts. Likewise, the name of God is never to be used for gain, exploitation, or as a scapegoat for ungodly behavior, and God’s name is never invoked casually or carelessly. This is true not only on Sunday morning, but all the days in between; if we hold the name of God sacred above all other things, then we are bound to be his people in every aspect of our lives.
Thus, “Hallowing the name of God” involves so much more than repetition of special words, or the practice of specific religious rites, or keeping abstinence from certain things. Making an outward show of things—pasting a cross on the top of our stationary or gluing a fish on the back of our car for instance—is of little or no value in and of itself. For it is inwardly, and spiritually, that we first learn to “hallow God’s name.” Through our commitment to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we practice yielding to Christ in all things, praying that through our surrendered obedience God’s love might be revealed to a hungry and hurting world in precisely the way that Jesus shares it with us: humbly, generously, sacrificially, and without price.
Such a commitment will change us over time. More and more the image of Christ will emerge in us as we receive grace through the Holy Spirit, hallow God’s name in our worship. Over the span of a lifetime, the careful shaping of our will toward God’s heavenly purpose creates new pathways for the Gospel wherever our lives touch the world. The Kingdom of God comes to us in Christ, and then by God’s grace comes through us to touch God’s creation. As one dear saint remarked toward the end of her life on this earth, “all these years I’d supposed I was the one coming to church to make my prayers…only recently have I discovered it was these prayers that were making me.” So may it be for all who are pure in heart!
February 03, 2016