Over the past two Sundays at church we’ve begun stepping through the Lord’s Prayer. It’s been great to explore what it teaches us about prayer, but also about what Jesus wants us to value most.
As we thought about the line ‘hallowed be your name’ on Sunday we spoke about how God’s great desire is to display his glory and holiness. To bring glory to himself. It’d be easy to hear this and find something a little offputting about it. We don’t normally respect people who are into self promotion and bringing attention to themselves. You might even ask whether God is a bit selfish and whether he really cares about us, or just wants to make himself look good.
John Piper is a famous Christian theologian and pastor and I think one of his most helpful contributions to Christian thought has been to help us think about this sort of question. He argues that God’s desire to bring glory to himself is not something that lessens his desire to care for us. In fact, Piper says, showing his glory is the most loving thing God can do. Here’s a great quote:
“Because God is unique as the most glorious of all beings and totally self-sufficient, he must be for himself in order to be for us. If he were to abandon the goal of his own self-exaltation, we would be the losers. His aim to bring praise to himself and his aim to bring pleasure to his people are one aim and stand or fall together. I think we will see this if we ask the following question. In view of God’s infinitely admirable beauty, power, and wisdom, what would his love to a creature involve? Or to put it another way: What could God give us to enjoy that would show him most loving? There is only one possible answer, isn’t there? Himself! If God would give us the best, the most satisfying, that is, if he would love us perfectly, he must offer us no less than himself for our contemplation and fellowship.” (Piper, Is God for us or for Himself, 1980)
God wants to show us that he’s a glorious God. A holy God. A God of power. A God who keeps his promises. And what could be more comforting for us to know than that? What could be better than to know that the holy God of the universe cares for you?
No wonder Jesus teaches us to pray, ‘hallowed be your name’. What could be better than catching a glimpse of God’s holiness and glory?
Trinity Church Brighton
0406 124 006