What Name?

Long ago, a man named Jacob met a guy. This guy was mysterious. The meeting was so meaningful to Jacob and this man seemed to know a lot about Jacob. He might have been following him on Facebook or something. Jacob asks what his name is. It’s a reasonable question.

But the man said something like this: ‘Why are you asking about my name? No one really knows me. I have a rather amazing name. But what about you, Jacob? Maybe you have the wrong name. Maybe your name should be changed. You are different now. Your name is Israel.’

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Now we know the name of this man. The guy knew Jacob’s grandfather. He knew Noah. His name is Jesus. We know a little about him now. We know he was killed. We know he died. We know he returned from death and met with his friends.

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Other people met this person later. One guy was Saul. He was trying to stomp out a new Jewish heresy put out by these so-called Christians. He was traveling and he met this person on the road. He was blinded by a light and said, “Who are you, Lord?” He was completely astounded at the answer: “I am Jesus and you are hurting me.”

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Once Moses asked God his name. The answer was “I AM.” Is this a name? Yes. It is The Name. The name of One who was not born. The One before the beginning of anything we know.

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Now, let us look closer at this wonderful name. God talked with Moses and told him he was going to reveal his name to him. Moses did not know what to expect. In the experience of Moses, he heard these words: I will make my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim my name…”

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There was more. He heard “mercy” “compassion” “grace” “love” “faithfulness” and “forgiveness”. We use these words when we talk about God because, like Moses, we experience these. All love, mercy and goodness come forth from God. This is his name. This is who he is. The aged Apostle, John, writes ‘God is Love.’

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He is the Good. I think that maybe “God” is short for ‘Good.’

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No one is good, but God. This means that every thought he has towards you is good. He wants only good for you.

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He wants you and me to join with him in being good. Will you embrace goodness? Will you dare to approach The Goodness?

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You say goodbye to badness as you move towards him. He is all good and all the good there is. Sure, you can do good things, but are you good? Good like God?

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You are stamped out in his image. You are made like him. But unless you are connected to him, you remain alone. You are like a beautiful statue that cannot move. You may have heard the story of the statue that comes to life.

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This is a metaphor of what can happen with us. The image of God, us, can be filled with the life of God and we can become real people. God, who made us, can do this. He wants to do it, too.

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But, and it’s a big ‘but’, he will not use force. His invitation is, “Come, follow me.” If you respond, you will become a real person instead of a shadow of one. You will be defined again by God as one he knows. He will consider you a friend. He will invite you to be an active part of his family. He is The Father, you know.

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