Text: Isaiah 11:1-10, [11-16]
Shoots, stumps, branches, and roots. Family trees. Curses and blessings.
My daughter Katie and her husband Marc are expecting their second child in November. (By the time you read this, if all goes well, this yet unnamed baby will have arrived.) They are doing what most prospective parents do, going through all the family names and names of friends, trying to decide what this child will be called. In naming this baby, they will also name their associations, their hopes, their aspirations – going back into the past and its stories and going forward into the future.
What is your name? Write out your whole name. Look at it. Is it a family name? A name associated with another person? If you were named for someone, what do you know of them? What role did they play in your life? A “new” name? What was given birth when you were given your name? What else comes with your name? What roles, what dangers? If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
What is your real name, the one no one knows but you?
– Beth Harrison