I’ll admit I don’t always have God at the forefront of my mind, even when I’m reading the Bible or saying a prayer. Sometimes I do these things because I know it’s good for me, and other times it’s to tick the box or because of peer pressure.
I don’t always consciously consider who I’m reading about, who I’m talking to, and how it applies to me.
A casual greeting to strangers at the checkout, passing by someone on a walk or meeting a friend’s friend for the first time. A simple gesture to acknowledge their presence.
We also type or say “hello” to start a chat with friends or when answering the phone. A signal to say, “I’m here”.
The conversations following the “hello” seem to depend on our mood and interests.
We can have long and in-depth conversations with people we care deeply about. But when we are preoccupied with our next task, we answer with short phrases to facilitate the conversation ending sooner. Or sometimes, there is no conversation following the “hello”.
How do I address him?
God? Friend? Someone out there? Or perhaps I don’t even greet him.
Do I even give him my “hello”?
Maybe the way we address God also fluctuates depending on our mood and interest.
Some mornings when we wake up, we simply don’t feel like talking. And God is no exception to that. Why say “hello” when you can snooze the alarm for another 5 minutes three times?
Or perhaps praying before a meal is so deeply engrained that we blurt out a half-hearted “hello?” to our heavenly stranger. All to avoid the guilt and unease we may otherwise feel.
Jesus called him Father.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew chapter 6, verse 9).
I cannot remember the last time I said this to my Father with the same sincerity as Jesus did. Jesus models the perfect relationship with God the Father while also revealing to us the triune God. By calling God “Father”, he exemplifies the way to address and acknowledge God out of respect, love, and humility.
Jesus invites us to do the same.
And maybe our community will see and experience our Father too.
What does it mean for us to hallow God’s name?
Even though God calls us his friend and his child, he is still God. Sometimes we forget that when we are interacting with him as a friend. We become casual and complacent. We don’t acknowledge him as he deserves, and our desires come before him.
To hallow is to make holy and set apart, it demonstrates utmost reverence.
God is greater than any father we know. He is worthy of all the words we say and don’t say. We are to speak highly of him everywhere we go. We share with our colleagues, friends, and family how good he is.
Our actions of reverence and love will honour him. We will choose God first. We will prioritise and commit to his desires rather than our own. So that people will recognise us as God’s followers without seeing the flag we are bearing.
Our mood and interests will not override our calling to hallow his name.
Because God deserves our acknowledgement of him and the grandeur of his presence.
To hello or hallow?
Why not both.
Stephanie enjoys simple living, admiring nature’s beauty and intricacy, and playing the piano. She is particularly passionate about empowering the vulnerable. Writing is her way of processing thoughts and feelings to understand herself, God and the world in a deeper and more meaningful way.