One of the questions that I often asked people, while working as a hospice chaplain, was about the origin of their name. It’s a question that can elicit all kinds of interesting responses! Some peoples’ stories about their names are funny or sweet. Some peoples’ stories are deeply meaningful and tell of connections to ancestors and loved ones who go back many generations. Names, as we know, are important. They are tied to our identity and they can sometimes change, in positive or negative ways, the dynamics or course of our lives.
Our scripture reading from Genesis this week focuses on Abraham and Sarah, who started their journey as Abram and Sarai. But in their relationship with God and as a part of the covenant between them and God, they received new names. We’ll spend some time today thinking about what that meant for them and what our names and labels mean for us, as people of faith, today.
Scripture passage: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
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