“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q 189: What does the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us (Our Father who art in Heaven)?
A: That we should draw near to God with confidence in His Fatherly goodness, in our INTEREST THEREIN…(Matthew 6:4, 6b,18b)
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“In this prayer (The Lord’s Prayer), God’s glory is to be given chief place…this alone ought to occupy us WITHOUT CONSIDERATION WITH WHAT IS CALLED OUR OWN ADVANTAGE. This yields a great benefit to us, because when his name is hallowed as we asked, our own hallowing in turn also comes about. but OUR EYES, OUGHT…TO BE CLOSED, AND IN A SENSE BLINDED TO THIS SORT OF ADVANTAGE, so that they have no regard for it at all…” John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, III-20-35
THESIS: There is consistent joy, comfort, and motivation in understanding the eternal dimensions and wonder of the Abba Father love of God, and embracing the battle cry, “Hallowed be your name”.
“The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets called shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.” Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
1. Disciples are radically centered (rooted) in the character of the triune God.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6
2. Christ is our exceedingly great treasure. (Matthew 13:44)
“How sweet did it suddenly seem to me to shrug off those sweet frivolities, and how glad I now was to get rid of them – I who had been loath to let them go! For it was you who cast them out from me, you, our real and all-surpassing sweetness. You cast them out and entered yourself to take their place, you who are lovelier than any pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, more lustrous than any light, yet more inward than is any secret intimacy, loftier than all honor, yet not to those who look for loftiness in themselves.” Augustine, The Confessions, Saint Augustine, Maria Boulding’s translation
3. God rewards weary, glad-hearted, sorrowing, rejoicing, broken people who seek him in his triune goodness.
“The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so CONTAINS AN APPEAL TO DESIRE. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from... the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory
4. There is a glorious link between the hallowing, valuing, esteeming, and treasuring of the triune name of God and our joy.
God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him.
- Beware of making duty the ultimate goal in the Christian faith, instead of delighting in the Lord. Duty is penultimate. Delight is ultimate.
- Consistently seek the empowerment of God by placing yourself in the path of blessing. Give yourself to the “means of grace”.
- Rejoice in the glorious, interconnectedness of honoring the triune God and individual/corporate flourishing.
- Radical worship (the hallowing of the name of God) breaks cycles of individual and generational sin.
- What is the peril of the pendulum?
- Do you agree with this: “The most effective way to kill our sin is by the power of a new affection.” (quote by Thomas Chalmers)?
- Why is duty penultimate, not ultimate?
- How does understanding delight in the reality of the Lord influence our relationships, parenting, marriages, etc.?
- Do you agree with the quote from CS Lewis stated above?
- How does this glorious, interconnectedness make you sing and click your heels?