Devotional: March 16th
This past Sunday was the 150th Anniversary of the Minorsville Christian Church. The congregation I have the rich privilege to serve is steeped in history and accomplishments which, though not monumental, are important. The ministers in the church's history are a wonderful group of men who have served their Lord with a certain measure of distinction. One of those who has served well has a rather distinct name.
Ivan Odor. The first time I ever read that name or heard it I chuckled. Ivan has not only served his Lord well he has raised sons who are currently serving their Lord well. Still there's that name. You have to wonder what his parents were thinking when they stuck that small, struggling infant in their arms with the name Ivan Odor. Kevin, one of Ivan's sons, told me that his dad has taken a lot of good natured ribbing as a result of that name. Perhaps Johnny Cash's memorable song, "A Boy Named Sue", could be adapted here.
Over the years I have met people with interesting names. Rosemary Knuckles who went by Rosie. Harry Bush. That name conjures up all sorts of images. The doctor who delivered my last two children had the last name of Heine (pronounced hinie) and was the, pardon me for putting it this way, butt of several jokes by a Cincinnati on air personality who gave him the first name of Seymour. Names are important.
Take the name of Jesus. In the Old Testament the name is commonly seen as Joshua. It is the combination of two words; "Yah" for Jehovah or Yahweh, and "shua" for salvation. Literally the name means God saves. Kind of makes the old grafitti on Route 25 in Kentucky sound a bit redundant. You know what I'm talking about. The cross drawn on a rock wall with "Jesus Saves" scrawled over it. Literally it means "God saves saves". Or it could mean, "God saves and saves".
God wanted His Son to have a name which reflected His mission, His calling, His work, His sacrifice. "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth." Philippians 2:10 Jesus lived up to His name. He accepted the call that was given Him at His birth. God saves...through Jesus. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There's just something about that name."
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