What’s In A Name?

February 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

I come from a background where names actually mean something.  It is also true of the biblical world.  Names identify and describe people.  In Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Abram and Sarai become Abraham and Sarah.  What is important about these name changes is that these names redefine their identities.  Not just for the sake of change.  But to reorient their lives and to clarify their calling in life.  Their new names are the markers of God’s covenant  with them, bringing to fruition what already started as a journey of promise and calling in chapters 12 and 15.  Abram becomes Abraham so that he can become the “ancestor of multitudes.”  His new name describes his God-given purpose and destiny as God’s promise is fulfilled in his life.  This is still the meaning of our baptism.  At the baptismal font, you and I receive a name that goes beyond our biological identities.  We have become God’s children, belonging to Him, existing for His purposes only.

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