January 6, 2018 at 6:12 pm #1139
What’s in a name? Our name is more that our label or identity. Yet, we are
all given a name in order that we can be know by name. We name carefully, we name carelessly, we name hopefully, we name prophetically.
The one thing in common with all of this, is that we do not name ourselves, but the influence on family names and history is still influential.
And who can forget that famous song by Johnny Cash, “A Boy name Sue.”
Now that’s a name to live up to, or, at the very least survive.
In various traditions names are given following family names, titles.
Culturally, Indigenous names are gen around the seasons, totems, animals, and timings. Our name identify us and locate us in time and space, when we are, where we are, and finally who and whose we are. Names are for belonging and we are often first know as “somebody’s son or daughter, just as Jesus was known as Joseph’s Son. Now, in Baptism, Jesus is declared to be God’s Son, dearly loved and upon whom God's pleasure rested.
To then, change a name, or reject a name was as serious action indeed. It not only offended the family of origin it made a statement as to where loyalties and affections belonged and how they could be trusted.
Bonheoffer wrote a poem not long before his execution in 1945 entitled, “Who am I” In this poem he expresses the agony of what others see and
think of him, what he sees and thinks of himself and, with his profound
conclusion declares what he knew alone to be constant and true …
“Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!”
Bonheoffer knew that he was baptised, he had been named in this baptism as a beloved Son of God, upon whom God's pleasure rested assuredly.
In a world of face book and twitter, like and dislike, which can all be accessed with a push of a thumb; while they offer the instant affirmations we crave, what we are all really seeking is acceptance, belonging. Wrapped in these words of Baptism are the blessings of identity, worth, and unwavering regard.
Grace and peace, from James;.
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