Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hallowed Be Thy Name:What Does It Tell?--Linden Malki

If you tell me your name, what all are you telling me?

It tells me not only who you are, but it connects you with a family. Recently, my son and I spent several days in the Provincial Archives in Vaasa, Finland, tracing my mother's family records. We found that the church records for my grandfather listed him as Juhan August Simonson Maunuksela, which told us who he was, who his father was, and where they lived. This led us back to a couple of generations of Simon Simonsons, and then to a Simon Mattison. And we also found a grave marker in a parish church for Matti Maunuksela.  A family name pins us to times and places. People often judge us by what they know of our family's name, and they also judge our family by what they know of us.

It was not long after the church began to spread in its first century that its people began to be associated with the name of its Head (Acts 11:26). This leads of course, to our being judged by what people know of Christ and His Father.  On the other hand, many people's first opinion of God is colored by how we reflect His Name.  Jesus commands us to pray that His Name be safe in our hands. "Hallowed" means that His Name is to be kept holy. This means that it is to be set apart for the worship of God.

If people hear the Name of God coming out of our mouths, are we speaking as as God's Children?

Too often we hear the Name in very poor company. It may be nothing more than a thoughtless expression of anger or insult. It may also be used to impress others with no thought of anything beyond our own self-image. It can be used in a threat or a curse. It has been said that the fastest way to get someone's attention is to call them by name. How much more so does God listen for His Own name!  We are responsible for how we use His name; He is listening!

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