BIBLE READING: Matthew 6:5-15
Only after addressing God as Father does Jesus clarify who we are praying to—the One whose name is sacred. The people who were taught this prayer would have known exactly what this means. They knew that Torah teaches that we must not use God’s sacred name in vain. We should consider what the sacred name meant to those who were listening.
When Jews read the Torah, and they come across God’s name, they do not read what is written, but instead offer a substitute word, Adonai, which is translated Lord. The tradition extends to writing, so that they do not write out God’s name unless it is to create a full Torah scroll. Quotes and commentary that do not make the written substitution also do not spell out God’s name.
While Jesus started with “Our Father,” he followed this with, “Your name is sacred.” We start with the personal relationship, but we don’t forget that we are praying to the almighty God, creator of the universe, king of all creation. The reverence given to the sacred name, the name that is alluded to, but left unspoken, is much more significant than all the titles that I’ve sung and prayed. What is more awesome than a name that is so holy that you can only allude to it, but never speak it? Who would imagine that we would address the bearer of that name as our Father, as Jesus teaches us.
SONG: Holy, Holy, Holy
PRAYER SUGGESTION: Lord’s Prayer
Published in “Fruit of the Vine“