1. Time for the backstory as to why I forgot to attend to my blog post yesterday. For the second Thursday in a row I was called upon to officiate a memorial service. Now, funny thing about funerals (well, nothing is funny about funerals - poor choice of words - which, by the way, would be a great topic for another post - how our choice of words really does matter!). So, when it comes to funerals, I have never had a funeral director call me and say, "Rev. Smith, Joe Parishioner just passed away. The family is here and they are wondering what your schedule looks like? Is there a day and time in the upcoming week that you have open to officiate Joe's funeral?" Nope! Funeral directors will give me a day and time and ask me if I am available. And so, unless I am out of town (or have surgery scheduled), I am available, no matter what my schedule says! I simply have to "work it in." And as I do that, there is always something that gets "worked out." This post was one of those things yesterday. So given this backstory, I am sure you will understand (and forgive) the lateness of this post! Thanks!
2. The memorial service I officiated yesterday was for a woman with the last name Smith. It was not her married name (as she had never married). She, like me, and millions of others, was born a Smith. In talking with her brother before the service, I discovered that her grandfather's name was John Smith! Yea! Another man who had been given at birth one of the most popular names of all time! Now some people would beg to differ with me. "John Smith" they would say is just a plain old COMMON name. But that is not how I like to look at my name. I am glad that is my name! For starters, NO ONE has ever asked me how to spell my name (and no one has ever misspelled it). In addition, I have had a lot of fun with my name (like in my days back in college when I toured with a college singing group, I would introduce myself as "Mortimer Snerd" which would bring a laugh. I would then give them my real name which would bring a laugh as well). Lastly, I am glad for my name because I was named for a man I loved, my dad's step father. I grew up admiring and loving my "Gramps" as we called him. So when my parents told me why they named me John F. (middle name will remain with me!) ... it made me very happy! I was glad to have his name!
Just as I bore the name of my grandfather, we who follow Jesus Christ bear the name of our savior*. The most common name for those who embrace the teachings of Christ is CHRISTian. So I gladly tell people that I am a CHRISTian. For there is not "man" whom I admire more than the God-Man Jesus! I hope you too have embraced the gospel and chosen to follow Jesus Christ. And if you have any questions about what it means to do so ... I invite you to check out Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face.
Thanks for stopping by . . .
*OK, for those of you who might be thinking ... "Wait a minute, John. Christ is not Jesus' name ... it is his title!" Yes, I realize that. Christ means "annointed one." It is his title as the long promised Messiah of the Jewish people (and us Gentiles, too!). Understanding this does not diminish the honor we have of bearing his title in the name of our faith! Yes?