Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
1. Our Father – What a blessing these two little words are! Thanks to Jesus, we can call God our Father. Jesus Himself called God “Abba,” which in Aramaic is something like “Dad” or even “Daddy.” It is an expression of intimacy and trust, and it recognizes the covenant, the family bond, that God has established between Himself and His people.
2. Notice, too, that we say “our” rather than “my.” All Christians who pray this prayer are members of the same family. We have all entered into a covenant with God through our baptism, and that makes us brothers and sisters. The prayer invites us to join together with our siblings in Christ as we address God our Father. We are not isolated or insulated. Our prayer affects and includes the whole family.
3. Who art in Heaven – When we think of Heaven, we often think of somewhere far away, distant from us, reserved for God and the angels and the saints. Heaven, however, is closer than we think. Where God is, there is Heaven. Heaven is being in God's presence. Heaven is having God dwelling in our souls as He does when we are in a state of grace. This does not mean, of course, that we experience the beatific vision here on earth. We do not see God face to face as the saints do, but we do live in His presence right now. He does live in our souls. This is a little taste of Heaven on earth.
4. This phrase also reminds us that God is transcendent as well as imminent. He is closer to us than we are to ourselves, yet He is so far above us, so far beyond us that our human minds can never grasp His true nature. We can only stand in wonder and awe.
5. Hallowed be Thy name – First off, “hallowed” here is the imperative passive form of the Greek verb ἁγιάζω, or hāgiazō. It means to make holy, sanctify, treat as holy, consecrate, separate, and acknowledge as venerable. God's name obviously doesn't have to become holy. God is all-holy and so is His name. His name does, however, need to be treated as holy. It must be set apart and consecrated in our world, acknowledged as holy and venerable. God's name must never be taken in vain or used as a curse. It must be treated with the greatest respect.
6. In the Bible, a name is not merely a word designating a person. A name embraces a person's whole character. A name gets to the very heart of a person's being, who he or she is on the inside. The same is true for the name of God. God's name encompasses His character, His glory, His honor, Who He is on the inside, in His deepest nature, beyond what humans can ever know. So when we request that God's name be hallowed, we request that God Himself may be hallowed, so that we may always treat Him with the utmost respect, reverence, and love.
We'll continue our examination of the Our Father in another post, but for now, let's pray it again, slowly and devoutly.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.