“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).
Hallowed? What is that? How does one “hallow”?
The Greek word “hallowed” is a derivation of the Greek word hagiazo which means holy. The Greek word for “hallow” has the word “holy” as its root. To hallow something means to greatly revere, to greatly honor, to treat as holy, and to set apart as holy.
Notice hallowing doesn’t just happen. It is something that must be done, something that must be accomplished.
What is interesting is that this verb is written in the aorist imperative passive voice in the Greek. Let’s break that down.
- Aorist refers to a single act in the past tense
- Imperative means it is a command
- Passive voice means that it refers to an action that is done unto it. For instance, “Let the book be carried home.” The verb passive in this sentence is written in the passive voice. The book is not carrying, but is being carried.
Putting all this together. What does all this have to do with anything?
What is astonishing about this is that Jesus teaches his disciples that the disciples have an active role to play in God’s name being hallowed. God’s name is honored, revered, treated as holy, and set apart as holy and special by the actions being done by the disciples. At the same time, this means, that the disciples can live in a way that doesn’t hallow God’s name.
Not only is this a good idea, but Jesus makes it clear that “hallowing” is a command. It is something that disciples are commanded to do.
It is when disciples live lives that reflect God’s glory and holiness that God’s name is hallowed. Whether our world hallows God and God’s name is dependent upon how God-followers live and reflect that reality.
When we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” we are committing to intentionally live in a way that honors, reveres God’s holy name. Hallowing God doesn’t happen by accident nor haphazardly. It is intentional. It is a way of life that must be chosen.
As we continue to look at the rest of the prayer, Jesus will teach us how we can go about hallowing God’s name.
For today I invite you to choose to live your life in such a way that will honor God through your living.
Every day I pray that I can glorify and honor God as a husband, father, and pastor. This is my life mission statement.
That’s the lens through which I want to make every decision.
- Does this decision and decision honor God as a husband to Helen, father to Karis, Kaitlin, Kailey, and Kaleb?
- Does this decision honor God as a pastor to the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace?
- If it doesn’t I don’t do it.
- If it does, I am wholly committed to it.
Choose today to hallow God’s name. Start with writing a life mission statement for yourself. This should provide you with the framework through which you make every other decision in your life.