Renamed by God — Hope of Advent

Scripture Focus: 1 Chronicles 28.4-6
4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.

Reflection: Renamed by God — Hope of Advent

By John Tillman

Naming, in ancient cultures, was greatly important. Names were intended to remind children of who they were and to place them within the story of their family. Their names followed familial patterns and repeated names from the past.

Scripture usually calls Solomon by the name his father David gave him but God gave Solomon another name. God named him Jedidiah, which means “loved by the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12.25) God renamed Solomon because God claimed Solomon as his son and promised to be his father. 

Like Solomon, we have a mixed history. Our family patterns may include violence, lust, destruction, suffering, slavery, exile, or many other damaging and hurtful things. Names today are more often chosen simply by sound or for uniqueness with little meaning behind them. Modern legal names don’t tend to reflect our histories but those aren’t our only names, are they? 

We have other names that we have been called or that we call ourselves. Many of these names come from dark places or express our worst feelings and fears. Failure. Foolish. Ugly. Fat. Unworthy. Unloveable. Hopeless. These are haunting names all of us have heard at one time or another.

Our history or pain can “name” us. Naomi let bitterness change her name to “Mara.” Nebuchadnezzar forced Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to accept names reflecting Babylonian religion and culture. Rachel attached her own pain to her second son, naming him Ben-Oni or “son of my trouble.”

Those gathered after the birth of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s child did not take Elizabeth’s word that he would be called “John” because it didn’t fit the pattern of their history. When Zechariah confirmed it by writing, his tongue was loosed to prophesy. (Luke 1.59-66)

We don’t have to continue in life with the haunting names that fit our histories. Like Solomon, God has a new name for us. Our new identity is hidden in Christ and given to us as we are adopted by God. (Isaiah 56.5; Revelation 2.17)

New names bring us new hope. Christ’s name is to be called, “Wonderful counselor, the mighty God.” Like the shepherds who sought for him, we must seek him to live in the authority and power of our new name and our adoption as God’s children. Our new names will remind us of whose we are and where our place is within God’s story.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I will bear witness that the Lord is righteous; I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High. — Psalm 7.18
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Chronicles 28 (Listen – 4:45)
2 Peter 2 (Listen – 3:52)

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Christ takes great pleasure in his Beloved and he calls us by a new name.

My Cup Overflows :: Worldwide Prayer

Scripture Focus: 2 Peter 1.3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

From John:
This week of Thanksgiving, we have focused on giving thanks, looking at ancient and modern poetry, writings, and prayers, offering praise and thankfulness to our God. May we continue in thankfulness, praying the prayer of joy below, as we approach the first Sunday of Advent this weekend. 

Reflection: My Cup Overflows :: Worldwide Prayer
A Prayer of Devotion from the USA 

My cup overflows! My cup overflows! Lord God you have blessed me so abundantly! You have lifted me up, and loved me, and forgiven me, and blessed me so richly. 

O loving Lord God, continue to bless me, that I might continue to bless others.

O compassionate Lord God, as my cup overflows with love and kindness and all kinds of riches, help me to see how I might share these blessings and your love with the rest of your children. 

O Gracious Lord God, help me to see how extravagantly my cup overflows, and to see how I can direct that overflow to do your work. 

Oh Mighty Lord God, give me the courage and strength to follow Christ’s example, and to share the abundance of my blessings, now and forever.

My cup overflows! Praise God! Praise the Son whose life shows us the true meaning of grace, servanthood and loving stewardship. 

Psalm 23.6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor. 

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out. — Psalm 65.3

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Chronicles 26-27 (Listen -9:49)
2 Peter 1 (Listen -3:06)

This Weekend’s Readings
1 Chronicles 28 (Listen -4:45) 2 Peter 2 (Listen -3:52)
1 Chronicles 29 (Listen -5:50) 2 Peter 3 (Listen -3:21)

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