hello, my name is...
I somehow stumbled onto Kerry's blog this week: Glory in the Valley. So much about her story and her life's devotion to Christ resonated with me and I got super excited when I saw her post about this link-up: Hello, My Name is.... In her own words:
We all have names. Some of them are good. Good enough. Some of them are painful. Some of them carry the weight of bad decisions or of inadequacies. Some of them we are just so used to hearing that, to be honest, we don't even flinch anymore. Sure, they used to sting. They used to scratch our skin when those words, those names, were thrown at us. But now, after being thrown so many times- after scratching so many times- we're used to it. We've gotten comfortable with it. With those names.This link-up. The Hello, My Name Is.... link-up is an attempt to shout loud against those names. The names we've been called for too long and shout the truth.The truth that we are loved. Loved beyond measure. A love only fully expressed in death.That we are treasured. Treasured like a lost son.That we are worth more. More than the names. More than the lies. More than the things that we answer to.We are worth more. I am worth more. You are worth more.This Friday, Good Friday, come back and let's link-up together.
And I was like YESPLEASE. Let me get in on this "new name" action because nothing is truer than the good news that Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again...and that means, in small part of a cosmic story, that I have been renamed. It's not me, any longer. It's Christ, living His life in me, as me, through me - forgiving in me, as me, through me - loving in me, as me, through me.
I'm not who I was. THANK GOD. I am being remade, daily, into the image of the Son.
And the One who is remaking me doesn't see me the way I do - the way others do, at times.
One of my favorite songs has a beautiful summation of that new name: "Forgiven. Beloved. Hidden in Christ. Made in the image of the Giver of Life. Righteous. Holy. Reborn and remade. Accepted and worthy. This is our new name." All of these beautiful, hard-to-believe, things that don't seem to describe me...but somehow must, because I've exchanged my life for His. He names me. I am not a "sinner saved by grace". I am a saint. A SAINT. Because of the cross of Christ. I belong to God.
On Good Friday, I think soberly about the way others saw the Son.
How what began as a thrilling, expectant week turned sour as hosannas turned to hisses.
The overwhelming silence of the Father as the Son struggled up the hill.
He bled by our hands, that sacred head, suffering immeasurably. There can be no greater suffering than abandonment by the Father. Yet Jesus experienced it so we could escape it. The message of Calvary is that no one should have to know the separation from God for eternity. "But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed." [Is53:5]
My new name?
I am not separated any longer, I am not my own.
I belong wholly and wildly and forever to the Father, who loved so deeply this old world that He gave His only begotten.
I can be still in the finished work of the cross. I can sink deeply into a grace so immeasurable that I'll never near its edges.
"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." [Jn13:1]
I am His.