By Elie Haddad
President | Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS)
This month we are focusing on the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Hallowed be thy name”. There are two thoughts that I would like to reflect on.
First, why the name? What’s in a name? The name usually signifies the person. However, the relationship between the name and the person is much closer in old Hebraic thought , as it is in Middle Eastern thought today. While westerners would use a phrase such as “Praise the Lord!”, for example, Middle Easterners would use the phrase “Praise the name of the Lord!” A name conveys the reputation of a person. There is a key lesson for us here. There is nothing that we can do to change who God is. However, our actions, we who carry the name of Christ, will highly shape how God is perceived among the nations.
Second, the grammatical case of this phrase is what is called the divine passive. It is God who makes His name holy. Our prayer is that God would demonstrate His holiness. When He does, and as we, the people of God, encounter His holiness, this exposes our own uncleanness. When Isaiah encountered the holiness of God (Is 6:5), he became acutely aware of his own uncleanness. God sent an angel to purify him, then challenged him with the question: “Whom shall I send?” There could be only one answer: “Here I am, send me.”
Our prayer this month, for LSESD ministries and for our partners, is that God would demonstrate His holiness in our midst, and as we encounter His holiness and come to terms with our own uncleanness, that we would allow Him to purify us. This will lead to an eagerness to be immersed in His mission in the world, thus contributing to making His name holy!
Our Father who art in heaven; Hallowed be thy name!