Summary: Who are we as Christians?
Topical: A New Name
March 1st, 2008
Identity in Christ
Sometimes you meet someone who has a very special effect on you. For whatever reason there is just something about them that keeps you from remembering their name. I dont know what it is but I am terrible with names. Most people I meet four or five times before I really learn their name and once I do if I go a month or so without seeing them I often forget. I actually am so bad with names I have introduced myself as the wrong name before. I met my friend Andrews dad and I introduced myself saying: hi my name is Andrew¦oh¦umm no Andrew is your sons name and you would know that since you gave it to him terrible moment. Well this mental disability has hindered me many times in my life. In college I met a girl 26 times before I remember her name. The first few she was polite and thought it innocent enough but then she started keeping track. After about the tenth time she started to get really annoyed. So when I would introduce myself I noticed some hostility on her face and realized I had done this before but still could not remember her name. After 26 times of forgetting her name she didnt like me very much. I tried to apologize you know: I am sorry I cant remember you name, I am also sorry that in 26 attempts you have not been able to do anything memorable to help me. She didnt really like my saying that either but what can you do? When you mess it up that bad all thats left is to laugh at yourself. So when I say I am bad with names you know I am not just giving myself a hard time. You might be bad with names, but you certainly are not as bad as I am.
What I find strange is that people get really upset when you forget their name. I would think you would want them to remember what you said more than who you are but for some reason we think if you dont know my name you dont really know me. See as much as I would like to deny it names are important. They have a great significance in our lives for in our name we find our identity. While the significance of names has changed drastically in our culture from what they were in the ancient world you can still see some of the power that they have. How many of you were named after another member of your family? How many of you were named after a famous person or someone your parents respected? We can see the significance of names in their namesakes. How many of you know someone named Benedict Arnold? It wasnt an uncommon name at the time. So why dont we see it anymore? Could it be that the treacherous acts of one Benedict Arnold ruined the name for an entire society? Do you know anyone named Hitler? Know anyone who named their child Jeffrey Dahmer recently? What about Judas? Do you know anyone named Judas? This used to be a very common name. Two of Jesus disciples were named Judas, only one betrayed Him yet from that time on the name Judas really lost popularity. One mans actions tainted an entire name. So we see the significance that can go along with names even in our society.
You may not realize this but names are more than just identification tools. Names have meaning. Names have power. Names can tell you a lot about a person for everything you know about a person is connected with their name. For a name will also carry with it a reputation. If you know my name and you hear of things I have done your opinion of me will be connected with my name. So what is your name? Mr. Rush, would you mind sharing with us your first and last name? John is a great name and very fitting for you. Do you know what your name means? God is gracious, see its a great name, but no¦that is not your name. Mr. Wade, what is your name? Doug, thats is good name too. Do you know what your name means? This is fun your name means black water. But no, that is not your name. Mrs. Johnson, could you tell us what your name is? Gail, your name means father in rejoicing which is a very nice meaning but that is not your name. Mr. Hayward do you know the meaning of your name? To honor God, too bad that is not your name. Cora your name means maiden but then again that is not really your name. You have been deceived into believing that this tool that we use to identify each other is actually your identity. The truth is you have a name but it is not the name you think or respond to. Your name in fact is not even the name listed on your drivers license or birth certificate. So if that is not your name, what is? What is your name? We are going to look a bit at the names and their importance as we search to find what your name is.