Our culture, many of us included, is quick to take the name of the Lord in vain – blurting out “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh my God!” It’s a habit, both personally and culturally.
We can recall the second commandment – You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. And, it might be easy to think – what’s the big deal? It’s just a name. I’m not renouncing my faith or cursing God (at least not intentionally).
But, when we think like this, we’re forgetting the power of a name. And, not just any name, but the name of Jesus Christ.
In January, we actually have a feast day for the Holy Name of Jesus. Which at first, sounds kinda silly. It’s a feast for a name. But, when we remember that the name of Jesus has power and authority, it begins to make sense.
As Americans or English speakers, the expression “in vain” typically means without success. If we do something in vain, it means that we did it, and the intended result was not accomplished.
In light of this, we turn back to the second commandment.
How then can we embrace the reverse of this commandment – how can we use the Lord’s name with success, with His power and authority? What does this look like?
In my own prayer life, when I’m distracted, or don’t feel like being there, etc. – I try to simply say the name Jesus. Maybe, multiple times. Maybe over and over again for a half hour. Constantly trying to bring my mind back to Christ.
It’s also an invitation – Jesus, work in my life. In times of temptation or anger or frustration, remember the name of Jesus. Invite him into our souls.
Arguably, the shortest prayer possible – yet, the most powerful.
Be the Men,