NORMAN — Names are important. Take the name given to you at birth. There is power and recognition regarding your name — who you have become, your personality, character, choices, flaws, your experience, example, authority, business and even your physical appearance.
Your name is essential. Without a name, you would have no connection, no relationship, no meaningful interaction; an unrealized uniqueness that defines who you are would be lost.
Imagine if everyone had the same name. Let’s say that universal name is You. Listen in on this three-person conversation.
“I have a question for You.”
“Oh, you mean You?
“No, You, not You, me.”
You can see by this simple illustration how a name sets us apart even in everyday conversation.
Names are even more crucial when discussing spiritual matters. Take the name Church. When Peter confessed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus made this amazing announcement in Matthew 16:18: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Notice the emphasis of Jesus, “my church.” This name shows uniqueness, purpose and ownership. There is no building in church. Acts 2:47 sets the defining tone by saying “ … and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
What was a simple and beautiful Biblical name has over the years become so trivialized and amended that the defining unique characteristics have been lost. There is such eagerness to turn from inspired names of the Bible today. Nowadays, there seems to be no end to the litany of names, titles and expressions of church. We have our own ideas and they are plentiful. Just look around. I wonder if Jesus would be pleased.
George Carlin once said, “There are women named Faith, Hope, Joy and Prudence. Why not Despair, Guilt, Rage and Grief? It seems only right. ‘Tom, I’d like you to meet the girl of my dreams, Tragedy.’ These days, Trajedi.” His point is simple.