The Lord’s Prayer, Part 1

9.22.2019 Rev. Jennifer Hageman
(please click on the link above to view the sermon on Facebook)
How many of us have let slip a little epithet at the height of anger? How about one that included our Heavenly Father’s name? His son’s? It’s easy to do without even thinking of what it means. Pastor Jen brings us the beginning of a new sermon series on The Lord’s Prayer which starts with “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” focusing on the holiness of God’s name as we speak the iconic prayer. She first shows us, contrary to popular belief, that the prayer we repeat by rote is not just a prayer unto itself, but a guide for how we should pray and also how we should live our lives from the mind, heart, and mouth of Jesus. This is a prayer that can “transform our life, church, and community,” says Pastor Jen. How many times do we say it, and not pray it?
We pray to “our” Father, the Father we have in common with all of His children, the siblings in faith with whom we share this prayer and to whom we are connected in a powerful way. The word Jesus used here for “Father” was “Abba,” a term used without formality, in an intimate, personal, relational way, as we would address our earthly dads. We pray to a Father who is “in heaven,” or around us like air, but yet the Creator and Ruler of everything, close and transcendent, near and majestic, completely uncontainable, teaches Pastor Jen. God’s name being called “hallowed,” means His name is holy, near and dear, special, respected, different, set apart, and awesome! It is beyond all understanding, like trying to put the mystery of God in a finite mind, it is uncontainable, larger than we can imagine.
Let us agree to handle God’s name with care and honor with our words and actions, not betray or demean God with sin, and disrespect His sacrifice for us. When we pray this transforming prayer, let us not “babble and gabble,” as Martin Luther said, but follow it with intention and respect.