Hello, my name is …

Everybody has at least one, “pet peeve”. I’m sure if you think hard enough, you’ll come up with a list of your own “pet peeves”. These are things that may not bother other people but they irritate us. One of my pet peeves is wearing a name tag. As a pastor, many times I go to meetings, banquets, or even church fellowships and someone is standing at the door handing out those peel & stick name tags. I usually go with the flow and put one on but every now and then I try to get by without wearing one. My dislike for name tags is very simple. Perfect strangers will inevitably walk up to you and call you by name as though they have known you for years.

A few years ago, I was signing the register for a meeting and one of the hostesses noticed I didn’t have a name tag. She handed me one along with a pen and told me to write my name on the tag and wear it. I asked her politely if I had to wear a name tag. She looked surprised and said I needed to wear it so people would know who I was. I told her that if someone didn’t know my name they could always come up and ask me.

Instead of looking at a tag to learn someone’s name, I prefer introducing myself and then asking who they are. If I’m not wearing a name tag and somebody really wants to know my name, they will take the time to talk to me. Inevitably, this leads to a conversation. After a few minutes, you not only learn the person’s name but where they are from, what they do for a living, and information about their family. Soon, you’ll discover things you have in common, learn that you share some of the same friends, and you may even learn something you didn’t know before.

Luke records a time when Jesus was approached by a large group of people. This crowd was made up of men, women, and children from all over Judea. There were people from Jerusalem, Tyre, and Sidon. They certainly didn’t know one another but they all came to hear Jesus. Some even wanted to be healed. In Luke 6:46, Jesus spoke some words that most of us know by heart. He asked, “why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” I can just imagine some of the multitude calling out “Lord Jesus, heal me” or “Lord Jesus, make my child well again”. They were talking to Jesus like they knew Him. They certainly knew His name, but they had no idea who He really was. Jesus knew their hearts. He knew that they were not true followers. So He asked them why they were calling Him Lord when they weren’t following His teachings.

I wonder how many people call Jesus “Lord” today and really don’t know who He is. They may know His name but have they taken the time to get to know Him? Do they know He died for their sins and do they know that He is the Son of God? Have they asked for forgiveness in His name and confessed Him as Lord? What about you? You may know that you are a Christian, but are you making an effort to know more about Jesus. Do you read your Bible to learn more about Him? Do you come to Sunday School and spend time discussing Jesus with fellow Christians. Do you talk to Him in prayer? Do you tell others about Him?

Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us. And He welcomes every person who will call upon His name. Jesus already knows you and He wants you to know Him. He knew you before you were even born. And He didn’t have to read a name tag to know who you are.

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