July 8, 2014

But In Jesus We Are Renamed

I am currently preparing for a Wednesday Night Bible Study with my people at Edgewood, using the book Love Into Light by Peter Hubbard. (My review is here.) I have thoroughly enjoyed this book the second time through. I am only in Chapter 5, but I am remembering so many things I loved about this book.

Chapter 5 deals with labels... our names... how we are identified. After going through some fascinating discussion on the Biblical history of names and naming things, from Adam being named by God and Eve being named by Adam, to the anonymous mass attempting to make a name for themselves at Babel and God choosing an unknown man named Abram and renaming him Abraham... He states an issue involved this way: "...who we think we are tends to reinterpret what we hear." He follows this statement with this paragraph:
"In our culture, formal names do not carry the same significance as in the Bible. However, we know what it means to be named. The 'wimp,' the 'fat kid,' and 'the loser' all feel the shame of living with an undesirable identity. The kids who are labeled 'gifted' and 'brain' feel the waves of approval and pressure that can shape how they view themselves and perform. As adults, these labels do not typically disappear. They become more subtle and convoluted. Our hearts long to 'make a name' for ourselves. We gather fragments of desire, reputation, and accomplishments and glue then together into an identity: 'rebel,' 'jock,' 'supermom,' 'entrepreneur,' 'life of the party,' 'chick magnet,' 'gay guy,' etc. Most of us feel a mixture of fatalism, assent, and chagrin about our not-always-chosen but fully operative identities.  
But in Jesus, we are renamed.
He leaves that last sentence as a paragraph in itself. He goes from there to explain how we are renamed in Jesus. It is fascinating. It is remarkable. And it draws me to worship.