Wednesday, March 7, 2012
We had an interesting discussion in Bible Study this week as we began looking into the book of James. Several questions were asked about the first verse, since it introduces the book and the writer, James. As we sought to see who James was, we began to see that James could easily have been a name dropper in that he could have certainly bragged about himself since he was a physical half-brother of Christ.. He didn’t mention that. He also could have mentioned that he was serving as the leader of the church in Jerusalem. He didn’t do that either.
James was not a believer before the Resurrection Perhaps he even thought of Jesus as a too strict, even bossy big brother who was odd, or weird, maybe even a nerd or geek. He and his brothers and sisters grew up with him in their home. How many brothers and sisters actually look with great respect on their siblings as children and teens, let alone worship one.
It could be said that maybe Jesus was not a name dropper either. He seemed to keep the secret of who he was as he was growing up. Though, on occasion he referred to his Father, he didn’t seem to push the point, even to Mary.
We do know that, when they came looking for Christ as he was teaching, he made a very clear statement that his family now consisted of those who believed in him and those who would in the future. Maybe James remembered that day. Maybe James remembered not believing; maybe enough to be humbled by the fact that he was given the chance to believe and the chance to serve…
Because what he did say was that he was “a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ”. Now that’s name dropping! HUMBLE name dropping.
So what kind of name dropping do we do? For me, I can’t remember very many names of famous people, so I fail a lot at name dropping. Several in my family are “star” name droppers: They know the names of nearly every star that ever made a movie and they know the names of the movies they starred in. Me, I’m always referring to “ you know, what’s her name…”
But there is one name I have dropped a lot in the past few years. She is not famous, but she is well known and well liked in my church and when I first came there everyone wanted to know how I came to be in that church. I humbly said, “My cousin Kathy brought me here.” That always got a good response so I was encouraged to continue dropping that name. I still continue doing that when she has created a scrumptious, delightful feast for a Women’s Ministry event and I think some of my new friends should know about that special relationship we have!
But Kathy isn’t just important to me because she is a gourmet cook: She is also the person who led me to the place where I needed to be so that God could finally get my attention and begin to turn my sinful choices around and begin living for Him again. And I will tell anyone who will listen about that, too.
But, of course, the name we all need to be dropping in the course of simple conversation is that same one that James used in his salutation: God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
How often do we drop His name into the conversation when we are among strangers, in a restaurant, on a bus, or in a store. Who do we praise for sights like a rainbow, or a bird sitting on a limb and singing, or a squirrel rushing here and there; the moon and stars, snow, waterfalls, anything beautiful that we see in His creation. Would we ever speak His name to someone who loves “mother nature” or Santa” or the “Easter Bunny?” How often do we tell the people we care about that God loves them even more than we do or can?
I’m thinking I need to become a better name dropper. God gave us His name so that we could drop IT. How well are we doing? How much better would we like to be? May we all have our hearts so full of His Name that it falls right out of our mouths when we open them. Wouldn’t that be thrilling? Wouldn’t that be just the thing to make our day and some else’s, too?