Catechism Unit Question Numbers: 253-258
The Lord's Prayer Continued
“Hallowed be your name.” This may be another small sentence of the Lord’s prayer that we tend to skim over, and fail to give it the full consideration it is due. We may think to ourselves, “I don’t take God’s name in vain like so many other people do.” But do we truly and fully keep God’s name holy? The Catechism states, “But whoever teaches and lives contrary to God’s Word dishonors God’s name among us.” We all must admit that we haven’t always lived our lives perfectly in line with God’s will. Therefore we all must admit that we have dishonored God’s name.
Does God banish us from his holy presence because of this? No! Thanks be to our merciful God, that through the work of Christ, God has forgiven our sins against his holy name. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God sanctifies us so that we want to live in line with his will and honor his holy name. And because of his mercy, grace, and fellowship with us, God has actually placed his holy name on us! Following the Lord’s instructions to Moses and Aaron to bless the Israelites, God says in Numbers 6:27, “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” And in speaking to the churches (and all believers) in Revelation 3:12b, Jesus says, “I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.” What a tremendous honor it is that our gracious God and Savior would place his holy name on us!
Although I have said “Hallowed be your name” more times than I can remember, and although I know 1 Corinthians 10:31 very well, studying this section of the Catechism caused me to see so much more in this passage: “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. What an honorable and lofty goal that my spirit is so willing to achieve, yet my body is so weak to carry out! We should all ask ourselves: Do I always do my chores, my schoolwork, or the daily tasks of my job with enthusiasm to God’s glory? Do I always treat my family, my friends, those in authority over me, those I don’t know, and especially those who are set against me, in such a way that they would see Christ’s love in me? Sadly we all must confess that whatever we do, we fall short of the glory of God…
Yet we are justified freely by his grace through Christ Jesus! (Romans 3:23,24) And what’s more, before the beginning of time God prepared for us to do good works to honor His name, and to fulfill his good purpose! (Ephesians 2:10 and Philippians 2:13) What a great comfort this is, because if we were left to our own devices, we certainly wouldn’t have the ability or even the desire to do anything to honor God’s name. But the blood of Christ has redeemed us and made us children of God, and the Holy Spirit continually works in us to act like redeemed children of God!