What’s in a Name?

September 1, 2003

[A horse is a horse, of course.]Luke 1:57-66 lectio: No. He is to be called John. Elizabeth and Zachariah have their baby. On the eighth day, family and neighbors come over for the circumcision ceremony, and they’re all calling the baby “little Zachariah”. Elizabeth says no, but they don’t take her seriously, protesting, “But that’s not the way we do things! We’ve never done that before!”

Whether you’re planting an emergent church, home group, or are just trying to get any sort of group together with an eye on doing something new, a warning: Well-meaning people will come and try to name what you are doing. “Oh, it’s a church. Oh, it’s a Bible study. Oh, it’s a youth outreach. Oh, it’s a Gen X thing.”

God’s power is released only when Elizabeth and Zachariah join together in saying, “No. We have a different name.” Let’s not be pigeonholed by anyone, whether they are Christ-followers, normal people… or ourselves.

++ Father, help us to fight the names that we are given, or even the names we give ourselves. Help us to live by the names you give for the dreams you dream. ++

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

2 responses to What’s in a Name?

  1. Good thoughts, Jon.
    Ditto.

  2. ditto indeed. That’s good stuff. And I think we can all relate to the work of constantly trying to break down and reform the way we are perceived. Another thing you’ll love–There will be absolutely no PM labels allowed at the Sessions this weekend. In fact, we are going to find stuff to throw at people that drop any of the exclusive labels that have become staples of the newest pop lexicon of the church. What will be acceptable? The Future. Because the future is what’s coming, what’s next, and yet receives everyone–no matter their affinity, forms, perceptions.
    Especially interesting, is that one of the groups coming for the sessions is called “___ Postmodern” It should be fun watching them wrestle with that. =)