This one will
say, “I am God’s,”
and another will go by the name Jacob;
That one will write on his hand “God’s property”
and be proud to be called Israel.
Isaiah 44:5 The Message
A Word of Hope
How do you introduce yourself when meeting a stranger? Which of the many various parts of your life and history do you disclose? Of course the setting makes a big difference. You emphasize different aspects of your life experience, interests, and personality when meeting someone at a party contrasted to what you share in a business venue. How we chose to introduce ourselves defines us.
You might have grown up as I did with others defining you. It might have been the taunts and names of the school yard bully. Or, as in my case, the rantings of a preacher during a sweltering July camp meeting who blamed the fall of civilization on gays and lesbians – I was only 10 years old but I knew he was talking about me. The epithets he hurled took me years to get out of my head.
Senator Kamala Harris said during a recent town hall that one of the wisest pieces of advice her mother gave her was “Don’t let people tell you who you are; you tell them who you are.”
Today’s assigned reading (Isaiah 44: 1- 5) exhorts us to proudly take on God’s name as our own. We are encouraged to take to heart how God defines us. Ignoring the labels others put on us; we should lay hold of the claim to be God’s own. Others can call us what they will but we know we are “proud to be called Israel.” One translation of Israel I found on Wikipedia is “triumphant with God.” I like that: call me Triumphant.
I wonder how people would react if I started introducing myself as “a follower of Jesus, beloved of God and triumphant in life.” It might generate some rather interesting conversations.
God of my being. Today, I claim my name “Triumphant.”