“God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, no
longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall beyour name.'” – Genesis
This Scripture tells one of the several
biblical stories of God changing someone’s name.
Sometimes the name change, as here, is a
literal one. Jacob, a name that means, “one who follows,” or “comes behind” (because he was born after his twin brother, Esau), becomes Israel, “one who prevails with God.”
Other times the name changes aren’t literal but they are every bit as powerful. As when Jesus encounters a woman whose bleeding condition has effectively named her “unclean” an”outcast.” Jesus re-names her”daughter,” and says that she too is “a child of an Abraham,” which means that she belongs.
Many of us bear a name — not literally — that
diminishes, distorts or disfigures us. These names may be secret ones, known only to us.
Because of experiences of abuse or neglect that may have happened long ago, we may have come to believe that our real
name is “unloveable” or “shameful” or “worthless.”
God has a new name for you. It is “beloved,””precious,” “wonderful.”
Our God is in the business of name change,
heart surgery, and healing the deepest wounds.
I just listened to a song on youtube “I Will Change Your Name.” The lyrics are
powerful. They go,in part, “I will change your name.
You will no longer be called wounded,
outcast, lonely or afraid.
I will change your name.
Your new name shall be confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one . . .”
There are several versions of this song
recorded on the internet.
Check out this one here.
When I am irritated or disturbed or angry, grant
me grace, O God, totake a good look at myself. Amen.