Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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What's your name?

                                                        March 20, 2019

Dear Friends,

There were thirty-eight of us sitting around a circle. We
came from eleven different churches across the state. A
few of us knew each other. Many were strangers. We met
in the airport and chatted as we headed off for a week in
Puerto Rico to help with the rebuilding efforts following
Hurricane Maria.

Kathryn, our group leader, passed out the name tags as
she greeted us. She noted that many of us were meeting
each other for the first time. She encouraged us to wear
them until we got to meet everyone. I like name tags.
Maybe it’s my age, but I can’t seem to remember names
like I used.

When handed a name tag, one person joked, “I don’t need
one of these. I know who I am.” We all laughed. Another
quipped, “I’m so glad I have mine. We got up so early
today I was beginning to forget my own name.”  It was
all in good fun.

I always say there is no such thing as a coincidence. I
believe that when that which we call a coincidence happens,
it is proof that God is listening to our prayers or trying to
tell us something. So when the speaker on Sunday morning
started talking about names, I sat up and paid attention.

She said that seeds of pain and hurt have been planted in
many people’s lives by the names they have been called.
The world can be cruel and unforgiving. Many of us have
accepted the names that others have given us. Names like,
“loser,” “good for nothing,” “ugly,” and “awkward,” have
been internalized and we live with them as part of our
identity.

I was reminded of the meme on Facebook that showed two
dogs introducing themselves. One said to the other, “My
name is ‘Get down!’ What’s your name?’” We laugh but
some of us have accepted things that have been said to us
as if they were our given names. We suffer and live with
pain and regret.

Have you heard Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say?” It
goes like this; I keep fighting voices in my mind that say
that I’m not enough. Every single lie that tells me I will
never measure up. Am I more than just the sum of every
high and low? Remind me once again just who I am,
because I need to know.”

The Bible tells us that we don’t have to listen to those
voices. In Christ we have a new identity. God, who tells
us to call him “Abba, Father,” wants to give us a new
name. Just as Abram became Abraham, Jacob became
Israel, Simon became Peter and Saul became Paul, we
have been named children of God.

So believe God when he says you are loved! You are
blessed! You are a somebody now! Look at your name
tag. That’s who you are. So embrace your new name
for you are part of God’s family now.

Be blessed! See you in church.
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
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E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
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