I've been thinking a lot about this post this afternoon. Earlier today, I read a blog written by a friend. I've known her since she was in elementary school, and the little girl I loved has also become a woman I admire, a fellow 'being saved one' who is also one of the most creative people I've ever met. So creative she sometimes doesn't walk straight, but that's to be expected for such an artistic soul. Anyway, E was sitting beside me on the couch this afternoon and said, "You might want to read Little Birdie Storybook's blog today (well, she actually called her by name, but...)." Within the first sentence, I knew B was writing about me. And the things she said were so complimentary, so encouraging, I was crying by the end, and feeling wholly humbled. Though it's unlikely (I do know myself, after all!) that I am anywhere close to what she thinks I am, I also recognize that I want to be. I want to be that amazing, want to be that inspiring, want to be...well, glorified in someone's life, so to speak--and I'm very grateful that she thinks, and would say, such amazing things about me. (In fact, I am adding her blog to my blog list, because she's really worth reading and, after all, because...well, you know.)
But....the very first petition in the Lord's prayer addresses this. "Hallowed be your name." Hallow means to keep holy. So this petition is our asking Him to keep Himself holy. But God already is Holy. Are we asking Him to make Himself what He already is? Would Jesus be that redundant? Not exactly. At least not for His sake. This petition is asking Him to make Himself first and Holy in our lives. The first of the 10 commandments says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," and Jesus reinforces this first command by telling us to pray for Him to do what He commands of us. "Father, be God in my life." That's what this is saying.
There are many times when I am so overwhelmed by great needs, my own or others, that I lose sight of who God is. And times, like today, when it's easy to think I'm better, more important, more amazing than I really am. So this petition first of all, is asking Him to keep me from those things that do not glorify Him. It's in direct contrast to the world's notion of 'I'm so great.' We live in a world that tells us that we have the right to be glorified, famous, honored for ourselves. But Jesus tells us to ask God, "Hallowed be YOUR Name, Father." We are called to die to ourselves. This doesn't mean that we aren't thankful for words, like the words of my friend. But it definitely means putting those words into perspective, recognizing that the good that we do is not ourselves, but Him. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2: 9-10
This petition is also about Us, not just me. What I mean that together we ask God to glorify Himself in our midst. The Lord's prayer begins "Our Father," not "My Father." Anything we pray should--ought to--have communal consequences. If He is to be honored in me, He must also be honored in the community. Any good that I do--His Spirit in me--has implications for the rest of the Body. So, be Holy in me, and Holy in us. Wholly Holy.