What's In a Name?

Whatís in a name?  A Jordanian couple found it necessary to leave their home country and move to Israel because they named their child Yitzhak Rabin, after the assassinated President of Israel.  The couple had been so taken by Rabinís efforts to secure peace in the Middle East that they named their son after him.  Neighbours and others in Jordan could not tolerate the name of the Israeli President being spoken so freely in their vicinity, and drove the couple out of the country.  They were taken in by an Israeli businessman with a strong commitment to peace.

It brings to mind the names of Hoseaís children ó not-my-people and unloved ó every time their names were called by the parents the prophetic message of Hosea rung out.  It was intolerable to many.

Most of us do not bear names which so starkly state a message to others - even those who do not know us.  And yet our name does convey a strong message to family and friends.  Whether we know it or not, others instantly equate certain values and attitudes to us at the mention of our name.

The frightening thought is that message is often not the one we speak, but the one we convey with our life.  Iím not sure whether it would result in us being driven out of town, but it may speak of Godís love and compassion.

A little baby, persecuted for his name.  ďAnd he shall be called Immanuel, which is ĎGod with usí.  What does your name speak?

August 4, 1996
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