Jesus depicted in stained glass

What does it mean when you call yourself a Christian?

Usually we get our names from our parents.

Some of us are named after our parents. Some are named after relatives or famous people. Some are named after our parent’s favorite food, etc.

Some of us like our names and some of us don’t.

Some take a bold step and change their names.

C. S. Lewis announced as a child that he was Jack. David becomes Dave and his mother refuses to comply. Earnest Hemingway continued to call his oldest son Bumby long after he wanted to be called Jack.

Some people use a breaking point in their life to change their name. They go to college or move to a new city and use a new different name. They move to a country where their birth name feels out of place in a new culture. They have family and friends from early in life that still call them by their birth name. Uncomfortable or humorous moments occur when the old and new groups meet.

Some people’s names were changed by someone else as a reminder of another’s authority.

Pharaoh changed the name of Joseph. (Genesis 41:44-45)

Nebuchadnezzar changed the names of Daniel and his friends. (Daniel 1:1-7)

God changed the name of Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob. (Genesis 17:1-8; 15-16; 32:22-32)

Jesus changed the name of Simon. (John 1:40-42)

What does it mean when you call yourself a Christian?

The disciples of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:25-26) Christians have embraced the name ever since. We are Christ’s people. We should live in ways that the world sees Christ in us.

What has changed in your life since you became a Christian?

What needs to change as your pilgrimage continues?

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