One of the things I love about studying and teaching the Bible, is that I keep on being surprised. I will take some old Bible story that I first heard before I could read, look up what it actually says in scripture, and I will find something new.
Another favorite thing is finding and exploring themes that run through out the Bible, large, overarching narratives that can be found in both the Old and New Testaments. One example is the great commission, the commandment to the church to spread the faith to those who have not yet heard it. I thought that this was found only at the end of a few of the gospels and the beginning of Acts and that was it. But then Don Richardson, in "Eternity in their Hearts" showed that this theme, that the chosen people are chosen to extend God's blessing to all peoples, is not just a New Testament idea, but goes back, at least, to God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12: "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”; and then continues through out God's dealings with both Israel and the Church.
Well, now I have come to see another theme that is all through scripture, though I do not think I have ever heard any teaching on it, and I first saw this theme clearly in a passage that every Christian knows by heart and regularly recites, but which is little understood and also rarely taught on.
The scripture passage is from the Lord's Prayer, "hallowed be thy name".
The theme, that I have come to believe is a major concern of scripture, but is almost ignored today, could be called God's honor or God's glory, or to put it in more common language, the importance of God's reputation. In following posts I want to share what I mean by this and why it is really important, starting with the Lord's Prayer, then jump back to the Old Testament and trace this idea throughout the whole Bible.
My one claim that I am nervous about is that no one else has seen this or is teaching about it. If you know of others teachings on this subject either in the past or the present, please excuse my ignorance and introduce or remind me of those who have gone before me.
I have shared these ideas before in a few sermons in local churches and more fully in a three month Sunday school class in my church. But I feel a compulsion to share this more widely. If this is as important as I think it is then it should become a part of the common worldview of the church. Of course it is possible that I have taken a minor theme, well documented in the tradition of the church, and blown it out of proportion because it is new to me. Either way this blog is the next step for me to put these thoughts out there to be spread and/or corrected.