Today is a pretty exciting time in our household. We will be welcoming a new puppy having gone through the self-imposed, mandatory waiting period before considering one to follow our recently departed Bre- Am.
It seemed that part of our hearts went with her after those 13 years that she was with us. We had said more than once “Not again!”. Until…….. a call came from Judy; “I’m getting a puppy from a friends daughter who lives in Phoenix. Would you like one too?” My response was; “Give me a second to think about it… time’s up!” The mistake was to have opened the pictures she sent.
Within hours a new doggie- door was installed, a barrier for “her space”, ramps to the yard from the deck, toys, and holistic food, (flowers for her room were to come later). The quandary came (as it does); “What shall we call her?”. Periodically, as names would come into our heads, we would jot them down. Calls came from our daughters (sons don’t care) offering the biblical, cute, or expressive. Some fell tripingly from the tongue, others fell flat.
Not until yesterdays sermon did some things begin to connect. It was about Jesus’ query in Mar:27, where He asks His disciples; “Who to people say that I am” and then later to Peter ” Who do YOU say that I am”.
For ordinary humans our name is a symbol of who we are. It often influences how others think of us, even how we think of ourselves. As a child we can be called Jimmy or Jenny Girl, and later prefer James or Virginia. Our name may even suggest our personalities. My name is Harry Milton; I sign it “Milt”.
In the case of Jesus’s birth the choice was not made by accident, nor did He grow into it. The Angel Gabriel told his mother, Mary; “His name will called Jesus”. She had nothing to do with the selection.
We are known by our relationships. I was known by some as Harry and Mabel’s kid. We are known by those we run around with, or perhaps by our chosen occupation. Whether we might be a teacher or doctor; a misfit or bum, creates an image.
Jesus was an enigma for the people of his day; they could not pin him down to a vocation they understood; Rabbi, teacher, prophet -teller of tall tales? Matttew reveals; The son of man came eating and drinking and some said; “Behold a gluttonous man and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners”.
In the Holy Shrines of Jerusalem; in response to the words “Who do the people say that I am?” the Jews say He is a prophet like Elijah. The Muslims say the son of God like Mohammed. The Christians say; “You are the Christ, son of the living God”.
Peter said; “You are the Messiah”. In effect, we know YOU for what you have done in our hearts and lives; what we have seen you do for and in others.
Well, for those who wonder how in the world am I going to put this together with naming a puppy? I can’t of course; Except to say; we will wait to say who she says she is by what she does as she takes residence in our hearts; how she responds to love and command alike.