Hallowed be your name

The Lord’s Prayer — Part 4

Hallowed. Holy. Set aside.

Hallowed be your name we pray. God is holy, God is set apart. There is no fault or blemish in God. Which one of us can create something by saying it?

Planetary Nebula from Hubble
Planetary Nebula from Hubble

The opening of the Lord’s prayer is a thing of contrasts. We start by calling God father, we can approach with the confidence and trust that a child approaches his father – even the seemingly remoteness of heaven is no barrier to us approaching God. The contrast is that God is hallowed. Holy.

Do not be overly familiar with God. God is not like us in that he is altogether greater, far more than you or I can imagine, and I do a lot of imagining. God created the whole universe and sustains it by his word of power.

God is not the same as the universe, nor the equivalent of the universe. God is something other. God’s presence may be felt in the universe, in fact, it is a recurring theme in these blogs that God can be found, but it would be wrong to in any way confuse the creator with what he has created.

God did not just create everything there is, the heavens and the earth as the Bile puts it. He did not just set the thing going and step back. God is the sustainer of the universe, still involved with it now. I have already alluded to the beginning of the Letter to the Hebrews which says that God sustains everything by his word.

God’s awesomeness is summed up by a psalmist:

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 8:3-4

It would be easy reading this psalm to think we are very insignificant. In the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy media, there is a device called the Total Perspective Vortex, which shows the victim a projection of the universe and a microscopic dot marked ‘You are here.’  It is the only device that can crush a man’s soul. Fortunately, we do not live in that fictional universe.

For a more realistic view, this is how Psalm 8 continues, showing Gods perspective of man’s place in the universe:

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour. (v5)

We are more to God than a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot in an unfashionable part of the universe. With this perspective, we can approach God in prayer, confident that he will hear.

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