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Thoughts on Names

On January 1st we celebrate the beginning of a New Year. On the Church calendar it is the feast of the Holy Name, the day on which Jesus was presented in the Temple for circumcision and when he was named. Names are incredibly important. They give us a sense of our past (I was named for my grandfather, how about you?) or a sense of what is important to our parents (Hope, Grace) or a feeling for who they wish we can become (ever think of how your child's name will look on a business card?). Biblical names, especially names that change, often stand as markers for the spiritual journey of the nation of Israel or for the individual, Abram (father) becomes Abraham (the father of nations), Jacob (sneak) become Israel (struggled with God),and  Sarai (princess) to Sarah (princess over many). We are aware of the importance of name as well, for good or ill. Our family nick name, Sweetie or Hug a Bug, Junior or Baby, all of them give a feeling of our relationship. Other names can hurt, the ones that are said in anger, and the ones that tell us we are less than we should be or can be. So be careful of names. Choose the ones that will bring joy and comfort, and don't ever call your wonderful child by their nick name in public once they reach Middle School! (SO embarrassing Mom!!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012
Linnae Peterson, M. Div.