5th November 2017
The story of Abraham and Sarah is a difficult one. These two are called by God to leave all that they knew and had become accustomed to in their daily living, to travel to an unknown and unfamiliar place, and this journey was to be undertaken with huge responsibility placed on them both — they were to be a blessing to others.
But this unknown and unfamiliar journey, was anything but mundane and straightforward. Because along the way they faced numerous life changing events, everything changed even their names were changed.
Yet even though practically everything had changed about them— the strongest thing, the thing that made them who they were—remained in tact. Despite the fact that their names had changed, this strong and remarkable thing which remained with them is demonstrated most profoundly in their names.
You see, when Sarah was born her parents saw it fit, were inspired to call her “princess” … Sarai means princess in English.
Names had great significance in the ancient world, as they still do in some families today. We could speculate as to why she was called princess, was she strong-willed? Did she have a strong character? Was it her beauty? Was it the way she stood? Was it in connection with who she was related to? We do not know, but what we do know is that as she journeyed and grew in faith and trust in the promises of God, God gave her a new name that still kept the strength of her original name.
She went from Sarai - ‘princess’ to Sarah - ‘mother of kingdoms' or ‘mother of nations’.
What about Abraham — he moved from Abram to Abraham — from ‘honoured father’ to ‘father of kingdoms’ or ‘father of nations’
We are all on a journey with God. Called to have faith in where we are being led. How much are we willing to trust God? How much are we willing to allow God to make changes to guide us to an unknown future where God is already waiting?
Friends — are we willing to give up our names so that we can be a blessing to others?
Revd. Mark Robinson