Monday, June 20, 2011

In The Name...

And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
- Daniel 3:52b
Anyone who has children knows the dilemma of choosing a name for the baby. You have about eight months to make a decision, which should be plenty of time. Sometimes it is easy. You might have a name you've always loved. Sometimes there is conflict. The mother and father can't agree on a name they both like, or grandparents expect them to choose an old-fashioned family name. Sometimes you pick a name during the pregnancy, but when the baby is finally born the name just doesn't seem to fit.

Names are very important. We assign a lot of attributes to a person based solely on their name. A guy called 'Norman' conjures up a different image to one called 'Rocky'. Someone with the same name as a celebrity is expected to look and behave like that celebrity. When you hear the names Angelina, Leonardo or Barack, a very specific personality springs to mind. As a writer, I have to be very careful what names I give my characters. If I want my readers to imagine a tough, mean guy, I can't call him 'Wally'. If my heroine is supposed to be smart and sexy, she shouldn't be named 'Minnie'.

We like to name things. We name our pets. We name boats. Some people even name their cars, computers and phones. Names create feelings in us. We like certain names, or we don't. They either fit their owners, or they don't. We remember some, we forget others. But we don't worship names.

God, however, is different. God is so awesome that even His name is blessed, and should be praised and exalted. In fact, the Jews consider His name so holy that they neither speak it nor write it down. There is power in God's name. We baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When we cross ourselves, we bless ourselves "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." The early Apostles healed people in the name of Jesus, and priests today cast out demons in the name of Jesus.

When you need strength, draw on the power of God's name. Let His blessed and holy name be always on your lips, and in your heart.

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