Summary: Mary shows us how she hallowed God's name by giving God the priority in her life. By hallowing God's name we seek his direction in our lives.
You can listen to the full message here:-
"How to ‘Hallow’ God’s Name”
A Sermon on Luke 1:39-56
Let’s do a little survey.
How many of you say the Lord’s Prayer at least once a week?
What about once a month?
Once every six months?
It’s interesting isn’t it that the prayer isn’t used as much as in the past.
So we should remember to keep the prayer in mind and encourage our children to learn it. After all it is the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray.
And as we learn it we need to ask ourselves questions.
The prayer goes like this:-
Our Father in Heaven … we trust you Father that you have our best interests at heart.
Hallowed be your name … well what does that mean?
In your NIV Bible the word “Hallowed” is only used twice – both in relation to the Lord’s prayer.
Many translations don’t even use the word Hallowed, because it is a word people don’t really know; except when they pray the Lord’s Prayer.
So what does it mean? Hallowed means …
to make holy.
to keep as sacred.
set apart for religious use.
That is what we are asking when we pray, Hallowed be your name. It is a desire to make sure the name of God is upheld with honour and esteem.
Doesn’t that seem a bit strange to you? To make such a request?
Isn’t God’s name already holy?
Doesn’t God already have high esteem?
What could we possibly do to add to His holiness?
What could we do to add to His sacredness?
God’s name is already holy and we can’t add anything to it to make it more holy.
So, when we pray, Hallowed by Your name we are not just saying, “Lord Your name is holy make it even holier”. Rather through these words, Hallowed be Your name we are taking a responsibility upon our shoulders. The responsibility of making sure we do all we can to preserve the holiness of God’s name. As we pray this prayer we are saying that we have an active part to play.
Basically what we are saying is this:-
As we get to know You – Your mighty power, wisdom, kindness, justice, mercy, and truth.
Help us direct all our living – what we think, say, and do – so that Your name always honoured and praised.
To see how we can do this we are going to take a specific example of someone in the Bible who did hallow the Name of God. I’m thinking here of Mary the mother of Jesus.
Now let’s remember who Mary was.
She is young.
She is betrothed to Joseph.
She is a good Jewish girl who grew up in a nice Jewish home acting in a proper Jewish way.
Then she became pregnant.
From that moment on her life is turned upside-down.
She will skip her first period, and begin to feel the first trimester of overwhelming tiredness and morning sickness. In other words it is going to become very real very quickly. Households being what they were at the time it won’t take long for her mother to notice what is happening – mother’s just know these things.
And then she will have to tell them what happened. “I was just having an ordinary day when an angel came to me and said that God was going to make me have a child and the child is going to be the Messiah … honest”. Did her parents believe her? We are not told. But we do know that Joseph had it in his mind to divorce her – the stigma attached to the whole event was just to much for him to bear.
It is a lot to deal with, so Mary makes a visit to her relative Elizabeth – Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.
Let’s read what happens.
Read Luke 1:39-56
Mary’s world has been turned upside-down. God is definitely at work seeking to bring the Saviour into this world. But it is Mary who will wear the ridicule, the questioning of her morals, the judgements, the loneliness and the pain.
Yet she still hallows the name of God.
My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.
Hallowing the name of God means humbling ourselves before God and admitting that He has every right to ask us to give Him priority.
That is easy to say, but it isn’t easy to do … is it?
How do we admit that God has every right to ask us to give Him priority when we go through head-breaking relationship break-ups?
How do we admit that God has every right to ask us to give Him priority when we are struggle to find a job or make a career, or just get by?