Rich Paxson

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” On page 426 of our text, James refers to the “… name of the Holy One” as “… a constantly flickering hologram of revelation.”

“Hallowed be your name” or “hologram of revelation,” anything more, James writes, would present the Holy One as an idol we can grasp rather than as a real response to our longing for communion. We want to see “… visible signs in our midst of the personal, named, directed, ownership of everything that is.” Our scientific, social other provides plenty of pseudo possibilities by reducing the idea of the Divine to no loving response, but merely to measurable, material reality.

Ken Wilber, writing in ‘The Marriage of Sense and Soul,’ writes that the materialistic, social other, denying transcendent mystery, measures and controls a flatland, material world with the “eye of flesh” and with the “eye of mind.” Science provides innumerable and profound benefits. It is we, however, who, failing to seek God’s presence with the “eye of spirit,” grasp onto science’s material benefits as if they could remove our anguish as if they could provide real communion.

God’s loving presence forever envelopes our existence. We sense the nearness of God, and thankfully as well, we find that the absence of God calls us into deeper communion as profoundly as does God’s presence. And so, we begin the Lord’s Prayer saying – “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” We cannot hold onto God’s presence. And, we don’t want to.