“What’s in a name?” asked Juliet in William Shakespeare’s famous play about a young couple, “Romeo and Juliet.”
Names identify us to others; they help us identify ourselves. I am not simply “woman” or “that person.” By name, I am unique among the many other human beings that walk this earth.
“When someone loves you,” said Billy, age 4, “the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Profound observation, from the very young, in an email that often makes the rounds via the Internet.
Names are important. How we say them, how we use them, makes a difference.
And one name, above all names, holds the power of life and death, of creation and destruction.
The name above all names can heal.
In and of itself, it is a prayer. Nothing needs to be added.
Jews of the Old Testament did not speak the name of the Creator, considered too powerful and sacred to be spoken by mortal man.
Yet our Savior gave His name to His disciples to do the Lord’s work.
“In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” St. Peter tells a lame man (Acts 3).
We, as disciples, are called to do the same.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14).
What’s in a name?
The name above all names.
And He answers when we call.
All we have to do is say His name.
Does He know, by how we say it, that his “name is safe” in our mouths?