What's in a Name?

John Glen the astronaut, Henry Aaron the ballplayer, Maya Angelou the poet, Taylor Swift the artist.  We often become known for what we do or what we have accomplished.  I am Scott the preacher.  These are all good and worthy recognitions.  However, there are other names that illicit a different reaction.  Tom the drunk, John the wife beater, Sara the slacker, Jean the gossip.  Once a moniker has been awarded, it is very difficult to outrun. 

We all share a common name that at one time proved impossible to live down or live with.  Sinner.  We easily assign judgement to all types of people, but the harsh reality is that we are all sinners.  How does one get out of that?  Sin is a death sentence with no hope of a stay of execution.  It is that defiant part of self that separates us from a perfect God.  But, like all great stories, just when we thought all was doomed, the hero comes to the rescue.   He came also with a name that was assigned to Him, Jesus the Christ. 

Christ is not the last name of our Savior, it is a description.  It means Jesus the Messiah.  So, you see when we ask what’s in a name, the answer is always overwhelmingly everything.  We are defined by the names given to us.   In this world that can be good or bad. In God’s Kingdom, that can be life or death. As Christians, we are defined no longer by what we have done, but entirely by what He has done.  This is very good news! 

No matter your past, no matter your deeds good or bad, you and I have the greatest of opportunities to be called by a new name.  Christian.  In that name, all other names fade away and lose all power to define us.  We are made new and given life because Jesus took on the greatest name ever.  Hallelujah!!

Gale Owens