• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

What’s in a name?

I’ve been reading through 1 Chronicles the past few days. Beginning with the first chapter, the author leads us through a seemingly unending series of names. It’s the kind of text that you often ‘speed read’ or skim through. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of importance to these lists of names.

Lists and lists of names, what we call ‘genealogical research’, can be interesting G-best-genealogy-siteswhen we want to know more about the family history. However, our Western cultures can blind us to the deeper significance of genealogies for the people of Israel (and others). For the people of God, genealogies served the function of defining who individuals were in the larger community, and recognized the people who had a part in building that identity.

Looking back, we could say is a way of giving direction, purpose, and identity for moving forward.

Not only do we, as Christians in the 21st century, have an identity which has been built on the sacrificial work and grace of Jesus on our behalf, but our identity has been and is being built by the impact of other brothers and sisters on our lives each day.  Many of us can give testimony as to how God used the influence of another to point us in the direction of missions.  Many of us can give testimony as to how God used the words and counsel of another to strengthen our ‘weak knees’ in the midst of difficulty or doubt.

What’s in a name? A whole host of history that gives meaning to where God has placed us at this moment.  What’s in a name?  The reminder of the special love that God has placed upon us.  What’s in a name?  The assurance that He has placed us on His path and will use others to build into our lives.

The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four. The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their fathers’ houses, namely of Tola, mighty warriors of their generations, their number in the days of David being 22,600.”  (1 Chronicles 7.1-2)

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