[#pictureAdvent] December 16: NAME

14 Dec 16 Name-01.jpg

By Molly McEntire
Florida United Methodist Conference Center
Lakeland, Florida

First, read John 1:6-8

“Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” This is an important question. Who are you? Every day I ask myself, “who am I”?

It can be dangerous for us to claim to be something we are not. It is tempting to claim to be more than we are. We take on “names” of things that we are not. Every now and then we read of someone who has claimed to be a pastor, doctor or teacher, when the truth is very different. Those claims have even caused harm to others.

John was one of those remarkable, transparent people that we meet in scripture from time to time. When John was asked, “who are you?,” he had the chance to make himself out to be something greater than he was, to be dishonest about his identity. He had the opportunity to give himself a powerful name.

But, John was not willing to claim the name of someone else. He got the attention of others, but he was just John. He knew there was just one God and he knew he was not God. John had the chance to claim to be The Messiah or one of the prophets. John, however, did not want to get in the way of others and cloud their ability to see Jesus. John knew the Great One was coming. So, he did not claim to be more than he was.

We need to make sure we do not claim more about ourselves than we should. We should not confuse ourselves with God. Our name is important, but the name of God is far greater. Our name might be servant, disciple, or missionary. Who are you? Have you taken on a name that claims to be more than you are? Or have you lived as John did and not claimed to be more than you are?

Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for another day. We thank you for who you are. We thank you that we can take on the name of disciple who serves in your name. May we live a life of peace, grace and love. Amen

Discussion/Reflection Questions:
1)    Who do you claim to be?
2)    Have others given you a name?
3)    What is your “name”?