… and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.
For months, the pastors at Orchard Hill Church have been teaching on the book of Isaiah…chapter by chapter. “Sing a New Song of a New Name” was the title of today’s sermon. At the beginning of the sermon, the importance of a name was discussed and how that assigns value to a person. The pastor mentioned nicknames having an effect both positive and negative. While I can be a very critical and negative processor of thoughts, immediately my nicknames came to mind. My parents nicknamed me specifically to shorten my full first name and avoid other nicknames of the full name that they did not approve of. I may have been their princess too. To friends, I was known as enigma, sweet pea, skittles. To my husband, I am daisy. I reflected on how the nicknames changed and how I was known by different people…the nicknames reflected the relationship in many ways. I smiled because the memories allowed me to connect with today’s scripture teaching and the new name God gives. The sermon went through several names that were God-given. My favorite was the fourth one that derived from Isaiah 62:12: the redeemed of the Lord. The pastor went on to say that this name described our worth… we were bought. Our lives are worth what God was willing to give up… His Son. That is my new name… redeemed. It can be your new name too. The very end of the sermon brought about the “why this matters to us today”. God gives the new name and then we change and grow into it. He doesn’t wait for us to do things perfectly or make a change first. No, He loves us too much for that. He names us first. I thought about the Bible study I attended yesterday morning and even in the book of Mark, there was this theme of God’s name and reflecting who He is. I remember my parents sending me off to school (or anytime I was going somewhere without them) with their finger making a cross on my forehead. They would say, “Go with God and He will go with you.” Then, they would urge me to reflect their morals/standards as I went out in the world. They would remind me of everything they taught me by reminding me that I represent their name. That stuck with me in my own parenting. I always give a cross on my girls’ foreheads. When they are going to be somewhere without us, I remind them that they are God’s and they reflect His name.
There is belonging in His name. There is forgiveness and healing in His name. There is worthiness and love in His name. There is redemption in His name… through arms stretched wide on the cross.
He came for one purpose and that was to give us ours. I pray my life shows His light. I know I fall short but I desire to reflect God wherever I am.