A story once published in Reader’s Digest helped their readers understand the importance of a name. As the story goes . . .
At the end of the 1960’s, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high rent, and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, too, though in no particular sequence. But they didn’t name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school.
That’s when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand. Every fall, according to tradition, parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy’s name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.
“Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?” they offered. And later, “Fruit Stand, how about a snack?” He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didn’t seem much odder than Heather’s or Sun Ray’s.
At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses. “Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?”
He didn’t answer. That wasn’t strange. He hadn’t answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn’t matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their children’s bus stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word “Anthony.”
What’s in a name? What’s the importance of a name? In the case of God, not only do His various names carry great significance, but they remind us of the vast greatness that is in WHO makes up the name. I am looking forward to kicking off a new series this Sunday called, “What’s In A Name?” This week we will dig deeper into the name Jehovah Rophe – “The Lord who heals you”. I pray that you can join us for worship this Sunday as we look at a powerful passage found in Exodus 15:22-26 and as we lift up the name of our wonderful Lord.