Our names contain meaning. Babies born during the lockdown are being given ‘virtue’ names, such as Patience, Hope and Faith. Tina (which means follower of Christ) but is also seen as a corruption of the word ‘quarantine’ is also proving popular. 

Slave owners often resorted to naming their slaves according to the month in which they were purchased – a gross perversion of God’s declaration ‘I have called you by name, you are mine.’ Three hundred years later their descendants still bear these names in their surnames – January, February, March and so on.

The oracle of salvation given by God through Isaiah was directed towards a people who had failed to live up to their God-given name. Just as God blessed the people of Israel through their name, our names are blessed and, just as with Israel, this blessing comes with responsibility. Our names become an outworking of God’s character. Our calling is to bear witness to this in our very being. 

Listen to or download this week’s Start:Stop reflection above, or read the text online at this link.