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What's in a name?

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name..." Philippians 2.9

Quite a lot, actually! In the Bible names are used to reveal - and indeed exhort - character. Think of Jacob (supplanter) becoming Israel (wrestles with God), or Jesus (God is salvation). Sometimes to know someone's name is to hold power over them, hence a reticence among pious Jews to utter the name of God. At other times, names are offered as a gift without being specified, as in the opening chapters of Revelation, when Jesus promises to the Church at Pergamum a new name that will be secret - between them and God.

Because of the significance they bear, names are sacred and none more so than the names we ascribe to God, which is why the 3rd Commandment warns us not to take the Lord's name in vain. The ease with which we call each other names, or forget other people's names is an indictment. Today is set aside for worshipping God: let us raise his name - and raise our game on names!



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