Summary: So what’s in a name?
Hallowed be Thy Name
What’s in a Name?
The word Hallowed mean holy – sacred
Story: In Jesus day, and even today, the Jews will not write the name of God down.
It is so sacred that they write G space D.
1. TO TELL US APART
Question: What are names used for
Answer: To tell one person apart from another. Usually all you need is a Christian name.
Story: For example, when I want my wife’s attention I call “Maddy”.
If there is another Maddy in the room I’d say “Maddy Dale”
I have an American cousin called Maddy Dale, so when my wife and her are together we can only tell them apart by calling one Swiss Maddy and the other US Maddy!
2. IT TELLS YOU SOMETHING THAT PERSON
In fact many years ago, our surnames used to tell people what you did or where you came from
For example someone with the name Miller would have been someone who ground corn into flour as a job. Or someone called Smith would have been a farrier – someone who puts shoes on horses
And if you had a name like Dale – it meant you lived in a valley.
In Jesus’ day, first names had meanings too.
My name Martin means “warlike”, derived from the Roman god of war called Mars.
My oldest son is called Jonathan. His name means “gift of God”
My second son is called Christopher and his name means Christ-bearer
My third son is called Jeremy and his name means: “God will uplift, appointed by God”
Maddy is the short name for Magdalena which is derived from the biblical name “Mary of Magdala” and means “a maid”
What else does the Name mean?
Another thing that a name means is that authority.
My old passport used to say:
Her Britannic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.
The Name of the Queen signified authority. When we say that the Name of God is hallowed it means we recognise God as having a special authority.
That is why we are told in the Second of the Ten Commandments that “you shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God” Ex 20.7
Question: What does that mean?
1. You must not use God’s name a swear word
2. You must not tell a lie when you say “I promise by the name of Almighty God”
A name means one more thing
3. ACTING ON BEHALF OF
If I act “in the name of” someone it means that I am acting as if I were that person
Story: When I worked for Reckitt and Colman I used to sign letters on behalf of my company that were legally binding on the company.
I acted in the name of Reckitt and Colman – on their behalf
In the same way as I acted for Reckitt and Colman so as Christians we can act in Jesus’ name when we pray for things.
That is why when you are in Church you will hear people ending their prayers by saying:
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
So the name of a person has three meanings
1. It is used to differentiate that person from someone else
2. It signifies the authority of that person