Names

John 21: 15-19

As we sit in an office and wait our turn, we wait to hear our name called.  Jesus, sitting by a fire, cozily having breakfast, addresses Peter.  He uses a formal address, “Simon, son of John.”  I don’t know about you, but when my full name is invoked, authority is speaking.  In Kenya, people, when they meet, would never address someone by name.  As I sat in a clinic and asked a patient what her name was, she would turn to her neighbor and ask the neighbor what her name was.  Names have power.  If someone knows your name, they can curse you.  I was known as “Wife of ….,” or “Mother of …..”  I was never addressed by my name.  It was a shock to return to the States and have the bank teller shorten my given name to a shorter form to address me.  It’s kinda like someone named Susan, might go by Susan, or Sue or Sussie, or even Blondie.  I was Curly to my father.  When my first was used my ears flew open and if my whole name was used, I knew I was in trouble.

         Jesus uses Peter’s name, “Simon, son of John.”  He wanted Peter to pay attention.  Let us ponder this morning ways that Jesus addresses us: my sheep, my lamb, my child, beloved, forgiven, saints… Each title has a different flavor.  Take time to sit with each title for a few seconds and ask yourself what comes to mind.  Listen to what the title calls forth from you and what you are hearing this morning.  You many carry titles you would like to turn over to him from sins in the past.  I doubt he is calling you things so listen carefully for his voice.  Blessings.

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