DayBreaks for 6/26/17: The Power of Naming
From the DayBreaks archive, 2007
One of the privileges of being a pet owner is being able to assign a name to your pet. I’ve come up with some good ones and some pretty bad ones. As a parent, a lot of thought goes into the name you will pin on your children. You want to pick a name you like, that will reflect well on the child and not be prone to mean nicknames that playmates might dream up. Sometimes, people assign names or “labels” to others that aren’t very good.
For example, in India, the Dalits (you may know them better as the group referred to historically as the “untouchables”) are given only one name. And it is not a pretty name – certainly not a name that is to be desired. The name must be a derogatory, insulting name, such as Stupid, Ugly, Dung, Useless. Can you imagine growing up wearing an “official” name like that – and knowing that it will be your name for your entire life?
Something great has been happening among the Dalits of India. As they’ve come to hear the message of Jesus, they’ve discovered some amazing things that has turned their lives around:
FIRST: they have learned that Jesus, too, was born and lived his life as a Dalit. He had no place to lay his head. He lived in poverty, much of the time living off the charity and kindness of friends and followers. He was called names by others that were ugly and insulting. The incarnation was about God Almighty becoming a Dalit. And suddenly, the Dalits knew that Someone very special knew and understood their plight.
SECOND: the Dalits learned that Jesus could give them new names, names found in Scripture to describe the children of the Heavenly Father: Beloved, Chosen, Beautiful, Poetry, Precious, Holy, Righteous, Saint, Son, Daughter. After having a filthy, derogatory name all of your life, the re-naming by Jesus makes them glow with great joy.
Perhaps you are in need of believing the wonderful news that Jesus understands even your misery, that he understands what it is like to carry a derogatory name and to be viewed by others as dirty, filthy and stupid. But no matter – he gives you a new name, a glorious name. Wear it with joy and thanksgiving today!
1 John 3:1-2 (NIV) – How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God..”
PRAYER: Jesus, thank you that you know and understand us even in our darkness and confusion. Thank you that you shared in our disgrace but that you didn’t leave us there, but raised us up to heavenly glory in yourself. Let us live lives that bear testimony to who and what we are in you!!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>