This past Sunday, we heard the story from Genesis 32. Jacob is anticipating meeting his brother Esau for the first time after stealing his birthright and blessing many years before. In the midst of that anxiety, Jacob wrestles with God the night before and he is given a new name, Israel, acknowledging that he wrestled with God.
We too can be shaped by the names we are given both formally and informally, lovingly and maliciously. How can the name of our congregation shape us? By claiming the name of Risen Lord, we say that we are people of the Resurrection. We proclaim our belief that Christ has conquered the powers of sin and death in our world and that we live in that good news. Using an image of Christ's outstretched arms, we signal that we invite all people to join us. What does our name mean to you? How can we better live out the name of Risen Lord? How can our name be a blessing to the world? God of a thousand names, May we have ears to hear ours when you call: Renamed, Renewed, Reborn Into the future we create together. May we find ourselves in every dark night of struggle With the invitation to choose new life, To take what is past and leave it there, And to pick up the future and journey into it, Blessed by the new names you give us: Change-maker, Justice-bringer, Love-shaper. May our names name the blessing the world needs, And may we, now renamed live out the blessing we are. So God of a thousand names, You have one for each of us, Especially chosen and loved into existence. Rename us now, Forgive us And bless us anew That we may proclaim your love to our world. Amen. In the abiding hope of the Risen Lord, Pastor Lecia