Saturday, January 14, 2017

Name Change

What's in a name? 

We recognize certain ones more than others. Some carry more weight. While many are forgotten.
Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.  (Isaiah 49:1) 
In this passage from Isaiah, naming happens not only in relationship to creation, but also in conjunction with receiving a vocation. We are called -- summoned by God. In that act and in that process we receive our identity. They go hand in hand. 

It's never too late to be named in this way. No matter what stage in life, we may find ourselves in the midst of an encounter with God -- an encounter of which we are aware, one in which we sit up and take notice. It could be an encounter that profoundly transforms our life's purpose and trajectory. At such time, as we see repeatedly throughout the biblical witness, a new name is in order. Abram becomes Abraham, Saul becomes Paul, Simon becomes Peter, etc.  Are we willing to have our name changed?  Are we willing to be transformed?

Second Sunday after the Epiphany
January 15, 2017

Isaiah 49:1-7 
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, our strength and our redeemer, 
by your Spirit hold us forever, 
that through your grace we may worship you 
and faithfully serve you, 
follow you and joyfully find you, 
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Nina Simone, If He Changed My Name

Experts from the last speech of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  
He delivered it on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. 
The next day, King was assassinated.