Name Tags

Today is National Name Tag Day. Who thinks up these things? I heard this on the radio and was just curious enough that I had to look it up. This ‘memorial day’ was established so that we are all only strangers once! Huh? Does simply knowing someone’s name make them more than a stranger? On the other hand, being in a group of individuals with unknown names, as an unnamed person, is very uncomfortable.

I am not very good at remembering people’s names so I really appreciate the Bible study groups that I have participated in that have a policy of using name tags. Sure, it can be a hassle to provide and prepare the little stickers or pins, but what a pleasure to be called by your name or be reminded of someone’s name. Six weeks ago, when I called Kathy in Cofradia to hear about the women’s outreach event, she relayed a comment that a newcomer made regarding name tags. This woman thought name tags should be used all of the time because then a new person never felt left out. Other women could reference her by name and she had the opportunity to know others’ names also.

One of the first things Adam did as the steward of God’s creation was to call every creature by a name. Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). After the tragedy of Cain and Able, the story of man continues with “To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:26)

Have you ever considered what a privilege that is? Truly, who is man that God even pays attention to him? (Psalm 8:4) In Exodus 3, God gives Moses a message to take to the Israelites that advances their relationship with God to the point of having a personal name to call Him. God reveals himself by names that tell of his characteristics and powers. Finally, he revealed himself by speaking through his son named “JESUS (Jehovah is salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.”(Matthew 1:21) Jesus identified himself as the Christ – the expected Messiah – who was sent from God for the people’s deliverance. He was killed because he said he was the Son of God, a claim to the family name of God. (John 19:7)

Praise God! There is salvation in Jesus’ name. Our unrighteousness is washed, and we are sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 6:11) This isn’t merely by the recognition of a name tag name; rather, it is by the new birth and a “right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”(John 1:12) Acts 2:38 refers to baptism in Jesus’ name that implies a transference of a new identity – like the dying of the color of a cloth or the pickling of a vegetable. The whole book of Acts is filled with miracles done in the name of Jesus.

Someday Jesus will return and at his name “every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10) Until then, may you all come to know the name of Jesus in all its glory and delivering power. I pray that we will recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ’s name, strangers and aliens to this world, but sons and daughters of God. May we be “worthy of our calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:12)

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