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Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
(ESV)
Emblazoned with the Name
Wednesday of Lent 5
16 March 2016
God makes us holy by giving us His name. This He does in baptism in which we are marked by the divine name: "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." That upon which the Lord has set His name becomes His precious possession and shares with Him all the benefits which He bestows. He makes Himself known as the gracious rescuing God in His own name. Thus we know Him and to know Him is to receive all His benefits.
 
Emblazoned with the name of God upon our foreheads and hearts to mark us as redeemed by Christ the crucified, we can use that name to call upon God in prayer. He, who makes holy by His name, has His name kept holy when we rightly use that name.
 
He who made us holy by the giving of His name does not have His name made holy by our use. For it is impossible to make holy that which is holy in itself. So the Christian life of prayer gives God nothing, but takes what is God's and uses it to glorify Him. We thus keep God's name holy among us. The greatest glory for God is that we should preach and teach the pure and unadulterated gospel of Christ so that those who hear it might be taken from the jail house of bondage to sin and the law into the sanctuary of grace and peace under God's name. God's name is indeed holy in itself. Let us pray that it would be kept holy among us.

 

Martin Luther

"'But what does it mean to pray that His name be holy? Is it not holy already?'
 
"Answer, 'Yes, it is always holy in its nature, but in our use it is not holy.' For God's name was given to us when we became Christians and were baptized (Mt 28:19). So we are called God's children and have the Sacraments, by which He connects us with Himself so that everything that belongs to God must serve for our use (Rm 8:16-17).
 
"Now, here is a great need that we ought to be most concerned about. This name should have its proper honor; it should be valued holy and grand as the greatest treasure and sanctuary that we have. As godly children we should pray that God's name, which is already holy in heaven, may also be and remain holy with us upon earth and in all the world."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, 3.37-38
 
Prayer
God, our Father in heaven, look with mercy on us, Your needy children on earth, and grant us grace so that Your holy name would be hallowed by us and all the world through the pure and true teaching of Your Word and the fervent love of our lives and that you would graciously turn from us all false doctrine and evil living whereby Your precious name is being blasphemed and profaned. Amen.
 
For Memorial Lutheran School and all Lutheran Schools, that God the Lord would continue to keep them steadfast in their mission to proclaim the gospel to children and families and thus hallow God's name
 
For President Dale Meyer, faculty, and staff of the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, that they would continue to give the light from above to students, so that that light might be reflected into all the world
 
For the Houston Police Department and all peace officers, that God would keep them safe as they guard the safety of our community

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias Isenheim Altarpiece (1515)

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