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Thursday, August 22, 2019

San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district

What's In a Name?

Luanne Oleas writes: When the 1960s ended, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district reverted to high
rent, and many hippies moved down the coast to Santa Cruz. They had children and got married, too,
though in no particular sequence. But they didn't name their children Melissa or Brett. People in
the mountains around Santa Cruz grew accustomed to their children playing Frisbee 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, according to tradition,
parents bravely apply name tags to their children, kiss them good-bye and send 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 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 stops on the reverse side of their name tags. The teacher simply
turned over the tag. There, neatly printed, was the word Anthony.*

What's in a name? Anthony would probably have preferred to be called by his real name.

Names are used for identification. They can be descriptive. They can be honored or dishonored by
the one wearing the name.

There is one name that outranks all others. It's the only name in which there is salvation from
sin: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men
by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is JESUS, the Son of God, who died on the cross
for our sins so that we can have forgiveness and receive the gift of eternal life.

In order to be saved and to wear His name as a Christian (Christ-ian), one must place his faith and
trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess the name of
Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts
2:38). Then, one must seek to honor that Name by reflecting His love and light by following Him
faithfully (1 John 1:7-9). "If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him
glorify God in this name" (1 Peter 4:16).

There IS something in the name of Jesus: salvation! In fact, there are many spiritual blessings in
Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Won't YOU take on His name through your trusting obedience and then seek to
honor that Name for the rest of your life?

-- David A. Sargent

* Slightly adapted from Luanne Oleas in Salinas, Calif., Reader's Digest, as found in

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