When I do use it, it’s usually in conjunction with something old. In my little world, the use of the word hallowed is mostly reserved for dusty old buildings, ancient burial grounds, and as a clever way to not say Halloween. At least that’s what I thought when I first started writing this, but then it dawned on me. I use this word every day. I just evidently don’t give it a lot of thought. And there’s a big problem with that.
Using the word hallowed to describe someone without pausing to reflect is like calling a person your majesty and then handing him your dirty laundry. It’s disrespectful, arrogant, and insulting. Hallowed means holy, sacred, venerable. It is associated with the divine. And in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus reminds us to declare that God’s name is hallowed.
So maybe I need to slow down and really think about who I’m talking to here.
And his name is sacred.
Perhaps the very least I can do as I speed through my prayers is pause for a second and acknowledge that the person with whom I am talking is not just anybody.
It’s a privilege to be able to talk to him. It’s a privilege that cost God dearly, so for me to enter into it as if I deserve it or as if I’m doing him a special favor by taking time out of my busy day to pray is contemptible. I’m not being harsh, just real. The person who is getting hurt by my lack of thought and disregard is me. He loves me. He wants me to remember who he is.
He is holy.
I forget that sometimes when I pray. My words pour out as if I’m talking to my closest friend, not the Almighty God. Don’t get me wrong, talking to God is easy. It’s as simple as talking to your closest friend, but even so, there are a few things we should always keep in mind.
He is divine.
And he owes me nothing. He has done it all. He paid for my wrongs. He opened my eyes to see. He led me into this abundant life. I really can’t take any of the credit, and now he invites me to talk to him. Just like that. Talk to him.
So perhaps after I’ve remembered that I’m not alone and that he is my father and that this world isn’t all that there is, maybe then it’s time for me to pause and recognize that getting to talk to him is no little thing. His name is hallowed. He is greatly to be praised.
Maybe I can do that every day. I think I can.