Vicar’s Reflection: OS 21, August 27th 2017
Do we really know someone when we learn their name? Naming gets a high profile in today’s set of readings. Moses is named by the Egyptian Princess because she ‘drew him out of the water’. A play on both the Hebrew word mashah -to draw out; but with links to the Egyptian word word mes,or mesu, meaning ‘child of’, or ‘son of’ as in Thutmoses and Rameses. Jesus calls himself ‘Son of Man’ and asks his disciples ‘who do people say that I am?’ Several suggestions are given, then he asks- “Who do you say I am”. Peter’s answer is about his identity rather than his name ‘Jesus’, which is a form of the Hebrew Yeshua (ישוע), also having the variants Joshua or Jeshua, and relates to the Hebrew verb deliverer or rescuer. So for Christians the name of Jesus is appropriate to his identity which is what we like to do, as when parents name a child expressing their hopes for the future. So we have names such as Rex which means a king or leader or Sophie which means wisdom. Celebrities who give their children trivial names seem to regard them as fashion accessories and may not be thanked when they are adults having to cope with being called ‘Rocket Zot’ or ‘North West’. Whatever you may think of your name remember that in Jesus we have a perfect blend of his nature, life, identity, destiny, purpose and Name.