Hallowed be thy name. (KJV)
In the Old Testament, and in fact, it still happens today, people were given names that reflected something about their nature or character. Jacob means “deceiver.” Jacob deceived his brother, Esau, stealing his birth rite. Israel means “one who struggles with God.” I read a book of Indian history – 20th century – and came across a name I never heard on any cowboy and Indian show on television, “Get’s Fat Eating Beef Jerky.” It clearly describes the nature of a porky little Indian child. What mother or father would name a child that? (What parent would give the odd names in the Old Testament?).
So, what is God’s name? Some people call God “righteous,” “judge,” “punisher.” What is God’s nature or character? The New Testament (1 John) says God is love.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
If God’s true nature is love, didn’t Israel (and all of us who struggle with God) take God’s character in vain (render it futile/hopeless) by claiming God wanted them to do things that contradict love?
Nethkâdasch schmach (Aramaic)
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Hallowed be Thy Name in twofold Trinity.
Hallowed be thy name, and let the remembrance of thee be glorified in heaven above and in the earth here below. (Kadish)
Hallowed (honored, revered) be your name (nature). How does the Aramaic translation mean this? Jesus was the light of the world. 1 John 1:3 says “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.” Light is also a metaphor for knowledge. Maybe it’s a request that I might experience the light, the love, the goodness of God in my deepest being to the point where I am so struck by it that I can’t help but become holy (worthy of praise and reverence).
This petition in the Lord’s Prayer is a request to grow in greater awareness concerning the true nature of the Creator. When I possess this knowledge, it can only make me drop to my knees, without fear, in awe, wonder, praise, worship, adoration, and submission before the greatest power the earth has ever known – Love. Let the character of our Maker be lifted up to its highest level. Hallowed be thy Name.