Lenten Devo 5: Hallowed Be Your Name

**John and I were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is one of John’s and is about the phrase “Hallowed be your name”. It fell on Day 11 of this series.**

In Heaven

Reading: Ephesians 5 v. 25-27

Today and the next few days we’ll be focusing on the part of the Lord’s Prayer where it says, “hallowed be your name”.

The word “hallowed” is something that is holy, or set apart from the mundane. When we recite the Lord’s Prayer we are saying Lord, your name is holy.  Its this holiness that gives reason for the commandment in Exodus 20:7, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

I remember shortly before Abigail and I were married I saw her writing her name on a page of notebook paper.  The reason this stands out to me is that it’s the first time I saw her write my last name instead of her given last name.  She was writing “Abigail Carr”.  When I asked her about it she said simply that she was excited to take my last name.

In the same way, when we become Christians we take on the Lord’s name.  The word “Christian” means to be a little Christ.  In Ephesians 5:25-27 it becomes clear that Christ has made the Church his wife: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” So when we call ourselves Christians, we are stepping into a covenant relationship with Jesus.

This relationship is exciting! But it’s also important to remember that there is a lot of responsibility that comes with it.  God’s name is holy and if we are to take on his name, we have to strive to use it in a way that respects that holiness.  We are called to live lives that are holy and set apart.  We are called to welcome the stranger, love the downtrodden, and care for the hurting.

How will we live today as one who is set apart as a Christian? How will we honor the holy name of God?

JC

Today, lets pray for those wrestling with mental health issues.

Lenten Devo 4: In Heaven

**John and I were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is one of John’s and is about Our Father “in heaven”. It fell on Day 9 of this series.**

In Heaven

Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:2

“John, I’m 88 years old. I don’t have too many days left, but we’ll meet again in heaven.”

These were the heart-wrenching words my grandmother said to me as I hugged her good-bye before traveling to Northern Ireland.  These words echo the writing of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:2 where it says, “We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.”

If you’ve read C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, you’ll remember the following scene in The Last Battle. After all the characters have gone through the door, Jewel the Unicorn says, “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” Then all the Narnians charge deeper into heaven.

These two stories have something in common.  My grandma is counting the days until she can finally see her real country, the place where she truly belongs, the place she has been longing for her whole life.  As a Christian, we should all have this longing.  It’s as if, once you know Jesus and get a small taste of heaven, nothing is ever good enough again.  That’s why we as Christians have a responsibility to live as though heaven is inside of us, ready to be released for the rest of the world to see.

What can we do today to let heaven shine through?

Peace,
JC

Today lets pray for children in poverty.

Sunday Confessional

I confess that I got caught up in the flow of life and missed my confession for last week.

I confess that about a year ago my lower back was hurting so bad that I went to physical therapy.  They diagnosed my back pain as stemming from my right hip. There is a joint in between the sacrum and the ilium called the sacroiliac! or S.I. joint. The S.I. Joint is weight bearing joint that supports the spine, and because mine was messing up, I was experiencing a lot of lower back pain. The therapy helped, and I hadn’t felt any pain until around three weeks ago. My back pain slowly came back (though not as intense), and this week I’ve spent time revisiting my stretches. The stretches are helping, but I confess I would covet some prayers.

I confess that we got to speak at a Wednesday night missions meeting about our time in Haiti.  It was a good opportunity to share a bit of our story, and to hear the hearts of believers around the world, and how God is speaking His mission into their lives.  The church was so welcoming and even took up an offering for us. I confess that if I used hashtags I would write #blessed.

I confess that we went to see a castle, which is the best preserved norman castle on the island. Its called Carrickfergus castle, and the surrounding town is its namesake. Hosea loved the castle, and I confess that Abigail and I were pretty well impressed too.

I confess that I am abysmal at snooker. A friend took me to a snooker hall and taught me how to play. It was actually really fun, good company, and an activity that demands skill. I suppose I’ll get better if he wasn’t to embarrassed to take me back. Luckily our gracious landlord was a bachelor when he lived in our house and our dinner table converts to a pool table so I can practise after the kids are in bed.

I confess I went cycling for the first time on a road bike. I should take a selfie while riding next time so everyone can see how awesome I look. It was really a great time, we road along the east coast causeway which runs next to the Irish sea. I’m looking forward to getting into better cycling shape, and building stronger relationships with the friends I cycle with.

I confess that every activity I participate in is an out-flowing of God’s grace. I am striving to live out His mission here in the Millbrook community, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

I confess that this is only possible through the blood of my Saviour. Praise be to God.

I’ve made my confession, now go make yours.