This past weekend, Phillip and I had the privilege of going down to Tampa, Florida for my cousin, Brookie’s, wedding. It was an amazing wedding full of fun, laughter, dancing and good company. Phillip and I were even able to have a few days alone to have an early celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary.
Brookie married Cameron Brate, a tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so part of the fun of the wedding was seeing how small we were in comparison to the big football players! Phillip and I joked that we had sore necks from having to look up so much!
On Sunday, before we left, we went over to their house to say goodbye. Brookie took us on a tour of their home and led us upstairs to where all of Cam’s trophies, jerseys and helmets were displayed, and there it was – the Lombardi Trophy.
Well, a replica.
But still really cool to see, as well as signed footballs and jerseys from other players.
We passed the Lombardi around and listened as Brookie retold the story of how Tom Brady threw the real Lombardi trophy to Cam across the waters of the bay during the boat parade after the Bucs won Super Bowl LV.
Then I watched as we sat it back down in its place and I saw how it now had smudges on it from our hands.
A replica trophy with smudges on it. That got me.
As a reminder, I’m spending the next several weeks collaborating with my pastor, Rev. Dr. Blake Wood, exploring the Lord’s Prayer using the imagery of God’s house. Last week, we entered the front porch, a room where your Father welcomes you and embraces you in the fullness of His love.
Our Father who is in heaven…
In establishing God as Father, we are first reminding ourselves of who God is to us – He is aware (Mt 6:6), He is responsive (Mt. 6:6), He is perceptive (Mt.6:8), He is forgiving (Mt. 6:14), He is concerned (Mt. 6:26) and He is good (Mt. 7:11). We are also reminding ourselves of who we are in Him – we are chosen, we are loved, we are adopted, we are redeemed, we are forgiven, we are enlightened, we are sealed with the Spirit, we are promised, we are enlivened, we have a seat in heaven with Him and that he is preparing a place for us.
This week, we move on to the next room, The Trophy Room, which also encompasses the Throne.
Hallowed be your name…
Why after Jesus bids us to address God as Father, does he make “hallowing God’s name” the first act of prayer proper?
Hallowing the name of God means worshiping Him. It means praising Him. It means honoring and magnifying and glorifying His name with your whole self.
To hallow the name of God means recognizing Him as holy, which means set apart. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is set apart from all else, because He (three in one) is perfect. There is no sin in him. There are no flaws in Him. There is no darkness in Him.
God is holy.
And in response to that holiness, we have the honor of hallowing His name, giving Him a full heart of your most passionate praise.
When we enter the Trophy Room of God’s house, trophy after trophy line the walls…
The trophy of Creator
The trophy of Savior
The trophy of Healer
The trophy of Sovereign
The trophy of Forgiver
The trophy of Redeemer
The trophy of Provider
The trophy of Protector
The list goes on.
And the thing about these trophies is that they are not replicas. These trophies are not smudged by time and humans.
The trophies, or names, of God are real. They are perfect. They are truth. They are unchanging.
Our hearts should respond in utter worship.
Imagine with me walking through the room of trophies, gazing at each one, and then resting your eyes upon the most beautiful trophy yet, the Throne.
In Revelation 4 and 5, we get a glimpse of what that throne will look like. But it’s not necessarily how beautiful and magnificent the throne is, it is how beautiful and magnificent the person sitting upon the throne is.
That person is God himself, in his fullness – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In Revelation 4 and 5, in response to being in the presence of the triune God, the 24 Elders, Living Creatures and a multitude of angels all respond by hallowing the name of God…
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come…
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being…
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise…
“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Rev. 4:8, 11, 5:12, 13).
In the presence of the holy God, they couldn’t help but hallow the name of God.
What about you? When you enter into prayer with your heavenly Father, do you immediately go into your list of wants and needs, or do you begin by hallowing His name? Do you proclaim His trophies, His names and attributes? Do you come with the expectation of entering into God’s presence in the Throne Room?
Our holy and perfect God deserves our full worship and our full praise.
When you begin your prayer by reminding yourself of who you are speaking with – your perfect Father – and reminding yourself of who He says you are – His son or daughter – and then entering into His trophy room, proclaiming with sincere appreciation the names of God, you are bound to join in with the heavenly host in glorious worship, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!”
I encourage you this week to feast on these scriptures, allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify your imagination and lead you into the Throne Room of Revelation 4 and 5 – Psalm 8, 98, 136, 145,146 and 150.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song…let the seas resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let [all creation, us] sing before the LORD.” Psalm 98: 4, 7-9.
Oh God, may we hallow your name, because you alone are holy and worthy of our praise.