What's in a Name
by Ken Langenbrunner
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Ramblings of an Old Man: What’s in a Name
What name do you miss being called? Growing up, many of us get a nickname attached that we just can’t seem to shake off, and some enjoy it so much they don’t want to lose it. I remember a childhood friend that was short and they called him “Duce” and his older brother that was taller was “Ace”. Another close buddy was called “Bruno”. One cousin was named John but he was called “Butch”, one of my brothers was nicknamed “Igor” for a while, because he liked wrestling, and that was the name of his favorite pro-wrestler, and my other brother was called ”Dink”, don’t ask me why!
There are all kinds of titles, references, and tags we can obtain and gather through life, some are derogatory, and others are cherished, desired, and honorable. I remember one in particular that I miss more than anything, and it just does not sound or mean the same as when it comes from anyone else, other then the one who holds the key to my heart; and that endearing name is “Sweetheart”. Now, there were times she would call me honey, but that just did not hold a candle to that loving, warm cuddly word “Sweetheart”.
I can only think of one other name that could possibly stand on equal ground, a title that most men are able to hold but many are not worthy or honorable enough to be entrusted with. The title was the subject of a greeting card I had sent to a fellow worker and his wife, a few years back, who had just rejoiced in the birth of their second son, and I wrote on the card this note:
You have been blessed with a name and title far more superior than any man can place upon you. It holds more value then silver or gold, and carries much more authority and respect than any degree or career. What a powerful and envious position you have been granted, that I, in my declining years, will never be able to hold, that of ‘daddy’.
God bless you both in raising this precious gift He has entrusted you with.”
As a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you too have a “daddy”. His title is more appropriately “Father”, and as an honorable and worthy Father He is desirous to give and supply us our needs, just as our earthy fathers do for us as we grow up. Later on in life many are granted an added bonus, the privilege of another endearing title, that of grandfather.
Thus life comes full circle, and just as an onion peels off layers at a time, a son is born, becomes a father, and then a grandfather, if so blessed. Since I have not been granted this title, there are times I feel very sad, lonely, and almost as an outcast, especially on Father’s Day. But, there is one name, or better yet a position, that I proudly bear and am very privileged and humbled to carry, and that is “joint heir”.
Father is mentioned in the Bible 979 times, Joint heir is only mentioned once, Romans 8:17, and it tells me I, as a child of God, will be a joint heir with Christ. What a great position to obtain, not earned by any works of my own, but granted by a Saviors’ blood sacrifice. That makes me feel very special and humbled right now. I will inherit eternal life because of a position I hold through a name that carries a lot of weight and power and glory!
With such a title, I best be mindful of the responsibility that it entails, that is, not only should I talk the talk, I better walk the walk. I have always been taught that “Christian” means “Christ-like”. Therefore, if we are going to wear a name, we should be mindful of what it represents and stands for and the tremendous power and responsibility that it carries, that’s what is in a name!
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Ken,the Joint-heir,thanks for this great reminder!