Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Power of a Name

"Jaclyn," the small African man called, pronoucing my name with his Swahili accent which sounded more like Jaci-Lynn, "please come over here to meet my wife." I turned around to face a beautiful African woman. "This is my wife, Redempta."

Redempta. Redempta. Redempta.

The name rang in my ears like a cymbal as I shook her hand, African style. Redempta.

"Hello, my name is Glorious."

"Jaclyn, Ben, I am Unity. This is my wife Grace and my children, Witness, Amen and Glory. This is my niece Gladness."

"These are my brothers, Revival and Redemption."
Redemption. Redempta. Unity. Glorious.
Glory. Amen. Witness.
Gladness. Grace. Revival.
Are these mere "spiritual" words? No, these are names of Christians I met in Tanzania, Africa. If you did not have a characteristic name, you had a Biblical one.
Zacharias. John. Samuel. Peter.
Timothy. Josephine. Naomi.
In the homeschool circle I have heard names such as:
Justice. Peace. Providence. Purity.
Honesty. Courage. Summit.
My precious friend, Dawn, became a mother on Friday and her son's name is Judah. Each of these names, whether African, Biblical or characteristic, have rich significance and meaning. In the African Christian culture if you become a follower of Jesus as an adult and do not already have a Biblical name you change your name. If you are born into a Christian home you will, more than likely, end up with a name like "Revival" or "Amen." The Bible makes it clear that names have power, significance and heritage. Many mothers groaned or rejoiced while naming their children and this affected the name the baby received! Imagine Jabez, which means, "I bore him in pain." Jabez even sounds like the Hebrew word for pain! How about Samuel, which means, "I have asked of him from the Lord" or "the Lord heard my cry." There are numerous other examples I could give.
What about the names of Jesus? Can we list them all?
Prince of Peace
And the list could go on... look up the times when "name" is mentioned in the Bible- especially in reference to God. You will be amazed at what you read!


shannon said...

So why the new look Jaclyn?

Jacob Mentzel said...

Okay, okay... So you've very graciously asked me more than once to comment on your blog. And you've certainly made no bones about showing me comment-love on my new... experiment. So are you ready for this? No, I mean really ready? Here it is: Levi. That's what I want to name my first boy. See, I even left a comment related to what you were writing about. Happy? :)

BenZ said...

wow awesome post Jaci-lynn! I appreciate your thoughts they were very encouraging. When you finish your book I'll buy it! ;)

Jaclyn said...

I guess I need to start a book, cause everyone keeps saying that to me! When YOU finish your book, I'll buy it too, Ben! Love you!