1 Peter 4:14-16 (New International Version)
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
When the 1960s ended, many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They got married and had children. But they didn't name their children Melissa or Brett. People in the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing with little Time Warp or Spring Fever. And eventually Moonbeam, Earth, Love and Precious Promise all ended up in public school.
That's when the kindergarten teachers first met Fruit Stand. Every fall, parents applied name tags to their children, kissed them good-bye and sent them off to school on the bus. So it was for Fruit Stand. The teachers thought the boy's name was odd, but they tried to make the best of it.
"Would you like to play with the blocks, Fruit Stand?" They offered.
And later, "Fruit Stand, how about a snack?" He accepted hesitantly. By the end of the day, his name didn't seem much odder than Heather's or Sun Ray's.
At dismissal time, the teachers led the children out to the buses.
"Fruit Stand, do you know which one is your bus?" He didn't answer. That wasn't strange. He hadn't answered them all day. Lots of children are shy on the first day of school. It didn't matter. The teachers had instructed the parents to write the names of their children's bus stop on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word "Anthony."
We often hear folks say, "There's nothing in a name!" But there is very much something in a name. Our name identifies who we are and where we came from (and sometimes where we're going). That's why Abram's name was changed to Abraham ("father of a multitude"), and Simon's to Peter ("the rock").
As Christians, we are proud to wear the name of the one who is our Lord, our Savior and our head.
Dear Lord we thank You that we can wear Your name because it shows where we are going. In Jesus’ name, Amen.