What is the history behind your name? What does your name mean? Does your name have some cultural or family meaning? I think it is pretty easy to just look at our names, and just shrug our shoulders with indifference. During my teen age years especially, I really hated my middle name of "Christopher". I thought it sounded awkward. It reminded me too much of Christopher Robin from the Winnie the Pooh books and cartoons. I thought I was way too grown up to deal with that "childish" name. When I used to ask my mom why they had decided on Christopher, she said it just fit. For many years that middle name seemed to dog me. I hated it so much that many times I refused to tell people my middle initial unless they would guess it. This view of my middle name changed when I became a college freshman. Suddenly my faith became an important part of my life. This is not to say that I still didn't think this middle name was clunky, but I accepted it as a reminder of the importance I placed on my Christians faith. One day, I took some time to look at what Christopher means and found out it comes from the Late Greek Name Chirstophors that means bearing Christ. Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. As I have dived deeper in my faith I could see why my mom and dad thought this name suited me. Honestly as I look back, I have grown into my name, and I think it has shaped who I am. Now I see my middle name as a part of my identity and who I have become. I have bore Christ to a lot of folks, and it has shaped who I am and how I live my life.
In this week's text from Exodus 3:14, we learn God name, which is I am who I am. This is indeed classic God speak where God doesn't always gives us a straight forward answer. However, it does reveal a lot about who God is. With this name, God is informing us that God will be our God no matter what. God is not going to take off time to go on vacation; God isn't only going to be our God when circumstances are good; and God isn't going to abandon us for somebody else. We are reminded of this promise every time we remember our baptism. God claims us by name and that never goes way. God remembers God promise to us, even when we don't. This is the nature of who God is and why we can in turn go in our daily lives.
So what about you, have you grown into your name? Have you wanted to change your name? How do you feel knowing that God is with you every day? How does it feel to be named and claimed by God, even when you don't feel you deserve it? How do you live your life differently?
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Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!