Monday, November 10, 2014

"What is in a Name?"

I am a Luddite. Well, maybe not that bad. I am not planning to smash any machines. But, I really know very little about the Internet and much of today’s technology. I do use the Internet to gather information and I do email and know how to text and even Blog. I do not know how to use Twitter or Instagram. I do not have a Facebook page, and I have never visited anyone’s Facebook page. I am just not that interested. I am a peaceful Luddite.

The other day I heard about “”, which was founded by Michel Fertik. In today’s world with the proliferation of blogs, Facebook, and the like, it is easy for someone to post something about you that may or may not be true. In fact, it might not even be you, but someone who has your same name! I think the purpose of is to help protect a person’s name or reputation on line.

Expressions of concern about having a good name or reputation go way back before the Internet was invented. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”  It was true back then and even more so today. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but like all good things, in the end, it is well worth it.

There is an even greater truth in the Bible about names and that truth is the power of God’s name. In Exodus 3:14 (NRSV) God revealed his name to Moses saying: “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  The Hebrew letters involved, YHWH, known at the Tetragrammaton, were felt to be too sacred to pronounce. The writer of Proverbs also said: Proverbs 18:10  (NRSV):  The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”  Jesus understood that.  He encouraged us in John 14: 13-14 saying I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”  His name is powerful for we who are His followers.

So what’s in a name? If it is our name, it is fragile, to be protected, and to be cultivated over a lifetime.  If it is God’s name, it is our refuge and strength.  No need for there. What do you think? Do you feel you can use your name to God’s glory? How do we as Christians or Sardis as a congregation achieve that end? 

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