Posts Tagged ‘names’

Names

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking about names recently.  Now, don’t jump to conclusions, we’re not having a baby.

I’ve been thinking a lot about names because it seems to be that people who claim to follow Jesus as Lord seem pretty hung up on his name.  And for good cause.  I mean how many big time evils have been committed by people who claimed to speak for God?  For Jesus?  But absolutely did NOT represent who God and Jesus evidenced themselves to be?

So we want specifics.  Do you believe in God?  Which God?  What’s His name?  Can you point out evidence that you and I believe in the same God?  Maybe if you would tell me your political views?  Or perhaps if I could just peek at your bank statements, and see how you spend your money?  Or look at your web-browsers history folder?  How do I know you and me are talking about the same thing?

There’s a guy on the internet that I used to follow.  He is a very prolific writer, and the way he seems to universalize Buddhism and Christianity and Islam mystifies me.  It’s perplexing to me, because when I read his posts it seems like he talks about Jesus so much, but when he talks about things Jesus said or did as recorded in a particular passage of scripture he seems to lift it straight up out of the story and allegorize it to the point that it wouldn’t drop back into the same spot and make sense anymore with his translation.  So who is he talking about?  How can I tell if he’s talking about the Jesus I know?

It occurred to me the other day- I was reading over the story of Hagar.  When Sarah and Abraham couldn’t have any children, Sarah invited her husband to sleep with her servant, Hagar, and have a child by her.  But then when Hagar conceived and gave birth to a son, Sarah grew spiteful, and sent her away.

Hagar wandered in the desert 3 days, but when she could go no further, set the baby under a bush and walked a short distance off.  And God came to her.  Rescued her.  Sent her back.  Hagar named her newfound God “The God who Sees Me.”

Abraham plants a tamarisk tree to mark an agreement with his nephew Lot.  It serves as a memorial and a witness- a physical reminder of the divine witness that God plays- a crucial part of in any oath between men, and Abraham and Lot agree and part ways, witnessed by “Everlasting God.”

God is referred to by many, many names.  “God who provides,” “God who heals us”.

So who exactly are we talking about?  Hagar comes up to Abraham and says, “Hey- my God is the “God who sees Me.”  And Abraham says, “Oh yeah?!  Well MY God is “Everlasting God.”

You and I know they are the same.  But how do Hagar and Abraham get to that?

God’s Names are always attached to an action.  There is physical evidence of who God is.  That is how I’ll know.  Where the spirit of God is, there is Freedom.  The fruit of the Spirit of God is known by action.  If these things are present, Jesus is also there.  Maybe, Jesus is waiting for someone to recognize him and name him.

Can I bring Jesus somewhere?  Can I put him someplace he has never been?

I see now that I cannot.  Jesus is shown in scripture to be the Word that was with God, and is himself God, from before eternity.  He is the end of all things- all things are made by him, and for him, and indeed held together by him.  If there is someplace where he hasn’t been- well, it’s not a place.  It’s not there.  He holds all things.

So if I identify truth, or justice, mercy, sacrifice, if I find people who value and uphold justice, humility, and self-lessness, I see the Spirit of Jesus present and at work.  I need only identify him.  And identify with him.  I suppose that’s how they’ll who I am, and who I am talking about.

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