Sermon Notes 01/19/2020

The Holiness of God

Matthew 6:9b


We do not have a sense of the holy today. Most people have lost touch with the concept of the sacred, the holy. We do not give much thought to the “holiness” of God's name, because we do not know about the holiness of God.


What did Jesus mean when he prayed, “hallowed be thy name?” The word hallowed is derived from the Greek word hagios, which basically means “different” or “separate.” A thing that is holy, hagios, is different from other things.


Our knowledge of God is essential. No one will revere an immoral, uncaring, disinterested god. From scripture Israel discovered that God is a God of justice, goodness, patience, and loving-kindness. These scriptures taught that what God has created is good and that God seeks to do good things for us. In Christ, the love of God is revealed more fully.


This part of the Lord's Prayer is extremely important for us for two reasons. First, if we lack reverence for God, how can we have reverence for one another and for the world around us? Reverence for God is the basis of our relationships. An absence of the sense of the “holy” causes life to decline. The loss of the holy causes a decline in relationships where friendship is replaced by a desire to gain personal control and advantage.


Second, reverence for God is the basis for morality. If we lose sight of the holiness of God, nothing is holy. The third commandment, with its emphasis on reverence for God's name, was essential for community. It provided the cohesion for keeping the community together. We hear a great deal today about the building of our infrastructure, but what about our moral infrastructure?


Further evidence for the demise of the holy is the loss of humility. “Humility” comes from the Latin word humus, meaning “fertile ground.” It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always ready to receive any seed, ready to give it sustenance and life, therefore it is essential. Humility is the means to live as close to the truth as possible - the truth about ourselves, the truth about others, and the truth about the world in which we live.


There must be some place in your life for the holy. Where is your holy ground? Where is your holy place, where God's name is “hallowed”? You need a place where God can tell you how much God loves you.

     First Covenant Church of Moline, IL 2018