The Word: Sustains – Day 28

Seven Wonders of the Word

“The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. – Isaiah 40:8


Wait... did you just say my name?

I loved the fact that in our devotion today the author compared people talking about death, to the characters in Harry Potter not speaking Lord Voldemort’s name. (there is a red squiggly line under that name, do I add Voldemort to my computers spell check?) Instead in fear and trembling they referre to him as; “He who must not be named.”

For many years I have talked about the power of names, the depth of meaning of many of the names in the Bible. Like Adam…it comes from the Hebrew root word for dirt… I know right. Over and over again names in the Bible mean something, they are more than just a word, its a word that carries with it information, it carries with something of the person who it belongs to.

Years ago when I read the first Harry Potter book, something stuck in my craw about the whole “he who must not be named thing.” I mean it seriously bugged me, it just seemed bogus.  Then the other day I was watching Dr. Who (yeah I am a nerd) and one of the underlying themes in the Doctors battle against the bad guys from all times and places is that there is power in a name. Often an unknown “badie” that is sure to cause the death of the earth or at least a great number of sentient beings, is sent packing when the Doctor

Yeah... its bigger on the inside.

figures out what it is what, or rather who is who, and names them.  In the naming there is power, in knowing what it is that you confront, and that it has a name, and by knowing that name it ceases to have power.

Death is like that. How often do we treat it like Voldemort and use euphemisms; passed away, passed on, etc. instead of naming it.   Don’t get me wrong, death is not pretty (neither is Voldemort for that matter and he is only mostly dead) and it can be tragic and upsetting, but as Christians we have a claim in the risen Christ that death is not the final word.  We can call it what it is because in our baptisms into Christ we have been named and claimed (yes I know) by God. In that naming we are joined to Christ’s death and resurrection and in his naming of death, he has sent it packing for good. In Christ we have already died and we have nothing to fear from it.

In the darkest times of life when death intrudes we can name it, we call it what it is, and in so doing we need not fear. Trusting in the promises of God that not even death could defeat, we can be sustained in the Word and call upon his name for the forgiveness of sins, for grace, for mercy and for new life each day.



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