What is a package deal? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a “package deal is an offer or agreement involving a number of related items or one making acceptance of one item dependent on the acceptance of another.” Have you ever thought about how your name and baptismal call are part of a package deal? Let’s take a closer look at how our acceptance of our names and baptismal call are important.
In Scripture, names reveal a great deal of information. For example, when Rachel’s first son was born, she named him Joseph, hoping that God would “add another son” for her (Genesis 30:24). In the story of the birth of Jesus, we are told that his name will be Emmanuel, which means God is with us. It is not unusual in the Old Testament that someone gets renamed when they are called to become a prophet or to enter into a new way of life. For example, Abram became Abraham when God called him to be “the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5). Sarai became Sarah for she would be blessed, would bear a son, and she would “give rise to the nations and rulers of nations will [would] issue from her” (Genesis 17:15-16). Jacob became Israel in Genesis 32:28 and 35:10. Their new names convey a call to a new way of life and a message from God. Continue reading →