“His name is John.”

Luke 1: 57-66

Names are huge!  Is there a story behind your name?  I never liked my name until I went to a book about the meaning of names and a biblical perspective of the name.  John means “graced by God.”  In Kenya, one tribe might name their daughter “chep” meaning “girl” and “chumba” meaning “white” because the baby was born in a hospital.  So her name was Chepchumba.  Another girl I knew was named “Nangoitaa” meaning born on the road.  Kennedy was a popular name.  Often names carry a story of identity and dreams of the parents.  Key chains, plaques and needlepoint often reinforce these dreams and become cherished gifts.

         Zechariah, John’s father, became mute for the nine months of the pregnancy, because he did not believe the angel Gabriel who said that he in his old age and his barren wife were to conceive.  Zechariah was told to name the child John, breaking with the tradition of using family names.  There was to be no doubt about John’s identity.  He was born by God’s grace as a gift and intended for God’s use.

         Perhaps your name does not have a story behind it.  Perhaps you struggled on whether to change your name at marriage.  Perhaps you prefer your nickname.  Let’s take time this morning to think about our names.

         My legal name is:

         My friends call me:

         My parents called me:

         My least favorite name I’m called is:

         My favorite role name is: (e.g. friend, mother, wife, grandma….)

Ponder for a moment what you would like your friends to remember about you when they hear your name.  Let us pray about that for a minute.  Blessings.

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