connecting theology and life in gospel-centred ways to the glory of God and our joy in Him
I’m doing a lot of reading on the Lord’s Prayer in preparation for a series of talks and bible studies at upcoming retreats and camps this second semester.
Some beautiful words from JI Packer on the phrase ‘Hallowed be your name’ from Matt 5:9:
Were we left to ourselves, any praying we did would both start and end with ourselves, for our natural self-centredness knows no bounds. Indeed, much pagan praying of this kind goes on among supposedly Christian people. But Jesus’ pattern prayer, which is both crutch, road, and walking lesson for the spiritually lame like ourselves, tells us to start with God: for lesson one is to grasp that God matters infinitely more than we do.
Understand it (that ‘hallowed be your name’ is the biggest and most basic request of the whole prayer) and make it your own, and you have unlocked the secret of both prayer and life.
And this at the end:
‘Man’s chief end,’ says the Shorter Catechism magnificently, ‘is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.’ ‘End,’ note, not ‘ends’; for the two activities are one. God’s chief end, purposed in all that he does, is his glory (and what higher end could he have?), and he has so made us that we find our own deepest fulfilment and highest joy in hallowing his name by praise, submission, and service. God is no sadist, and the principle of our creation is that, believe it or not (and of course many don’t, just as Satan doesn’t), our duty, interest, and delight completely coincide.
Duty and Delight are the same. Just brilliant. Absolutely, heart-warmingly, magnificently awesome!
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