Reflections: Wednesday of the Fifth Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 3:1-21; Acts 16:1-22

God’ s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also. (Small Catechism: First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God is holy, so His Name is always holy on account of who He is. Yet Martin Luther teaches us that we have a responsibility to keep God’s Name holy. How can we do this? We can only do this by remaining in the true Word of God. How does this happen? Well, it happens when all of God’s Word is taught exactly as God intends it to be taught. 

The problem we face as churches and as individuals is that our sinful flesh does not ever want to hear the truth. You see, the truth revealed in Holy Scripture shows us our failures. It reveals our sins. It tells us that God does not want us to live as selfish individuals who only think about our own pleasure. The Law of God is intended to kill us, and we don’t want to die. That is why it is a struggle to listen to the truth. 

This difficulty is one of the reasons so many churches distort, change, or ignore portions of the Bible and instead teach some other nonsense. In so doing, they lead people astray and profane the Name of God. 

By faith we pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name.” The Holy Spirit alone has the power to lead us to hallow God’ s Name. It is only by faith that you or I can hear and believe all that the Law has to say to us. Then, as we come to a knowledge of the truth, we are able to confess our sins and turn to Jesus, for He alone can forgive our sins. 

As forgiven children of God, we are called to live holy lives according to the Word of God. All of us do this when we continue steadfast in the Word, listening to what it teaches and doing what it says. As long as we sinners are here on earth, we will continue to do this imperfectly. But because of the sacrifice Jesus offered up by His death on the Cross, we continue to be forgiven of all our sins. So we daily must return to our Baptisms, and there in the water and the Word, we arise new men in Christ, forgiven always. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, help us daily to hallow Thy Name. Protect us from all that would dishonor You and lead us to study Your Word with open hearts and minds. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.