Aren't they cute?
In class last week we talked about the significance of a name. In one sense it's meaningless (wouldn't a rose by any other name smell as sweet?) but in another sense, it speaks volumes about one's sense of identity and destiny. After June 4th, 2011, the world will know that Chandra belongs with Nick and no other. She will be a Sugalski- she will take on his identity in a symbolic sense!
I am a King. I belong with Michael in a permanent way, and my very name speaks it. He is now "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh"; and even though this name change hasn't increased my status or value, it has affected the way I think of myself- and my future- in a drastic way.
So what's been blowing my mind lately is not how much I love my new last name, or that people will mispronounce "Chandra Sugalski" for the rest of her life. What has been transforming is me the realization that God has shared His name with me.
"Go unto all nations and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit..." I hadn't thought much about this passage before in regard to the name of God, because what it typically brings to mind is "gee, I should share my faith in Christ with others!" But thanks to this class I'm in, my lingering newlywed wonder, and my excitement about celebrating Chandra's wedding, I've been moved by this reality in a new way (isn't it amazing that the Gospel keeps changing us? It's not a one-time deal).
The God of the universe has pursued us. He calls us His bride (I wrote about that here) and commits Himself to us forever. But more than just that, He changes our very identity when He makes us His own. He calls us by His own name. Wow! This is much more powerful than joining the Sugalski or the King family; this is joining God's family and being identified as with God, of God, spoken for by God, forever! It's an identity change. It's a destiny change.
"You've taken my shame, called me by a new name
You've taken my pain and in it's place, You give me joy"
For a while when we sang the above lyrics at church, I didn't really understand what it meant. But I'm learning, and it's changing me.