February 10, 2021

Alms, Prayer, & Fasting 6:1-18

Our Father in Heaven v. 9 (Part 3)

“Your name” is a subject all of itself. I’m tempted to write an essay here, but space won’t permit. Rather I’ll make a few summary observations.

In the biblical view there is nothing more holy on this space/time spaceship we call earth than the name of the “Holy one of Israel”. His name evokes his presence. So much so that Orthodox Jews to this day will not pronounce it. One cannot pronounce YHWH and live. So, when reading the Torah aloud in synagogue, YHWH is pronounced ADONAI, which means “Lord”. If, in everyday conversation one refers to the Lord, one employs HASHEM, which means “The Name”. Even in script one writes G-D rather than GOD. The Name is everything, and it is holy. Indeed, this is why Jerusalem is called “The Holy City”. God has placed his name — “The city that bears my Name” (Je. 25:29).

Language limits us. Our descriptive efforts are stigmatized due to our “dark glasses” (1 Co. 13:12). Here, in this prayer, Jesus hints at the mystery engaged by our words. The apostle John captures that mysterious adventure with the words, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 Jo. 4:10). Our hallowed Father has our backs. Blessed be his Name!