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Three Names by David Bowden

July 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

They call me a Christian
But really, I have three names
Two of them I already know
But the third, well it remains
A secret  

My first name is unpronounceable
And not because I can’t pronounce it
Or can’t explain it
Or won’t in a few short moments illuminate it to you
My first name is unpronounceable because it’s possessive
And the one to whom it refers with possession
Possess a name that is so high above every name that it is unpronounceable
Yet, it makes a pronouncement about who I am in one simple syllable:

Yes, I am possessed by the possessor of all
I am God’s
Special possession
Treasured property
For God made an ownership confession
When God put his name on me
It was a costly purchase
That no one but the most gracious God would dare to entertain
Because the unpronounceable has pronounced on me
The possession of my first name

They call me a Christian
But really, I have three names

My second name is a place
A place I’ve always wanted to go
But never should have been allowed
It’s a place that is, itself, known by many names:
The heavenly Jerusalem
Mt. Zion
The Holy of Holies
The City of God
It is the place where the unpronounceable possessor has positioned his presence.
And what is presently astonishing
Is that he is not just giving me entrance
Into a place that I might go on an otherworldly trip
He is calling me by the name of the city in which he is also giving me citizenship
My second name is the house the Lord
The Most High has named me his temple
Therefore, I will not just inhabit the same space as my God
For he has made my very identity inhabitable
How intimate is this name he has given me,
That God would call me home?
Not just call me to home,
But call me his home.
With God my possessor
Never again to be alone.

They call me a Christian
But really, I have three names

My third name is a still a secret
And I’m happy to keep it that way
I know a little bit about it
For instance, it won’t first be given to me
It will first be given to Jesus
Who will then do some birth certificate editing
I also know it will be new
Which tells me something about its quality
Because I already know Jesus by so many names
And whichever one I focus on
Seems to pass the other ones
In successive bellows of glory
For he is
Messiah, Anointed
King, Appointed
He is both
Priest and Ransom
Prophet and Provision
He is
My redemption and my ruler
My friend and my brother
He is my propitiation, the most adored
He is my God and he is my Lord
What new and grander title
Awaits to be laid at his feet
And how will my mind contain the glory
Of that moment when he extends
This name to me? 

So hear this, Christian
Hear your names,
Hear all three.
God has given you his name
You are a possession of the divine
No matter what you may call yourself
God has said, “This one is mine.”

Hear your name, Christian,
Hear all three.
God has called you his place
No matter where you’re from or how far you’ve roamed
God has remade you into a place he wants to be
He says, “In you I will make my home”

Hear your name, Christian,
Hear all three.
For the third finds its treasure in a mystery.
A title greater than what has been revealed
A word higher than all that have yet been said or known
For I know there are names you call yourself
And secret words that can’t be uttered for the sake of their overwhelming shame
But just as Jesus gave you his righteousness
Christ will also give you this third and final name.

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