Names of God: Hallowed be Thy Name

This Tuesday, we will begin Joanne Ellison’s book His Great Name.  Please work through Chapter 1 “Hallowed be thy Name” and Chapter 2 “Elohim.” These chapters are attached. Amy and I will have the books themselves at church on Sunday for everyone.  As you go through the workbook, please write your answers down.

Ellison begins her book by taking us through Biblical passages that explore the significance of names in general and why names are important. In Genesis 1, God names those things he created.  God’s naming of his creation is the final step in giving them substance and reality.  In Genesis 2, Adam’s act of naming the animals establishes his relationship and dominion over them.  But we see the true significance of a name with the patriarchs.  In Genesis 17, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and in Genesis 32 he changes Jacob’s name to Israel.  These name changes arise when the very character of the person and that person’s relationship to God changes.  The name is a signification of what that person has now become.

Ellison also talks about how a name helps us draw nearer to that being named.  On the most basic level, when we are searching for someone, we call their name. We call out to the person that we are seeking.  On a deeper level, however, the name itself contains a part of the substance of the person it signifies. The invocation of the name can make present the person who is called (this is why in Harry Potter, no one is allowed to say the name of You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be Named).  Therefore, Paul can write that it is at the Name of Jesus, that every knee should bow and tongue confess. Phil. 2:9.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is New Year’s Day (ham, collards, and black-eyed peas).  Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here, and please bring a friend.

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, *
   the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our God; *
   may the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; *
   he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.
Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *
   but we will call upon the Name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:1, 5-7

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