Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Name

We’ve worked hard in our western culture to diminish name calling. Hate crime legislation, the excision of derogatory terms from the public sector, and the swift punishment of the same in schools have all helped. But for all this, there’s still a giant not yet slain: that’s the names we call ourselves.

All of us have a script handed us by parents, genetics, good or tragic events, and choices. The great challenge we often face appears when we’re invited to step into a different story, because in this new story we’re given a new name, a new role. No matter what our past script has been, we who follow Christ called are now called ‘beloved’ ‘sons and daughters’ ‘kings and queens’. If you’ve seen or read the “Chronicles of Narnia”, you’ll know there’s a sense in which we’re all Edmund. Not only are we unworthy of reigning – we know we’re unworthy. In our knowing, the danger is that we’d reject the throne, reject our calling, reject our new name.

The result? Many are still carrying the same old garbage at 50 or 70 that they were carrying at 20 – they never received their new name. And so the same materialism, or lust, or self-hatred rattles around in the soul. It’s too bad, because it doesn’t need to be this way. “If the son shall make you free… you shall be free indeed.”

It’s a law of the universe, written thoroughly into the fabric of the universe. If I reject the name offered me by God, I will be enslaved to the name offered me by everything else. May we have the courage to believe our new name, and walk in the reality of it in 2007.


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