Reflecting on John 1: 35-42
How do parents finally decide what to name the baby? There are so many things to take into consideration: family names, honoring a beloved grandparent, favorite contemporary names, or unique names that will make a child stand out. Some parents name their children with strong names that mean things in the original language—like Sophia, which means wisdom.
Two of my friends just brought their babies home and looked at them for a few days. After hours and hours of gazing, they arrived on beautiful names which, today, we can’t imagine belonging to anyone else.
But the best way to choose a name is to have Jesus choose it for you. Simon had always been Simon until Jesus said, “From now on your name will be Cephas.” That translates as Peter, or Petra, which means rock. How must that new name have strengthened and inspired Peter? In time, the infant, shaky Church would be built on the rock of Peter’s faith. Names shape us.
If Jesus, who knows your inmost heart, had named you, what would you have been called throughout your life? I love thinking of my friends having the names which describe them well: Helpful One, Strong One, Gifted One, Gracious One.
What name do you want Jesus to call you when you see him face to face? How about Just One, or Compassionate One, or Reconciling One? I know what I dread hearing him call me: Greedy One, or Lazy One, or Wasteful One.
Maybe we should take a few weeks to decide what name we most want to be called by Jesus, and then ask for the grace to grow into it. I choose Forgiven One.
By what name do you want Jesus to call you?
Kathy McGovern ©2021