“Naming The Baby” by Pastor Rodney Tilley

I was born many moons ago and given a name for which I had no control over. I do not know why I was given this name, but maybe there was a relative or an actor who was popular at the moment; I really don’t know. 

But I do know this; I was confused from birth. Everybody who knows me, knows me as “Rodney,” but I must admit that my real first name is Allan, but it is a name that I never use. 

You see, my mother wanted to name me, Rodney Allan Tilley, but right at my birth, someone made the comment that my initials would spell “RAT”, and so in a last minute change of thought, my mother decided to name me Allan Rodney Tilley so that my initials would spell “ART,” which understandably on a playground would be much more advantageous. 

However, my family never called me Allan, but Rodney, and all through school, the instructor would call out my first name, “Allan”, and I would be unaware that it was me. Names just have a way of defining who we are and I never was an Allan. 

I know when my wife and I were going to name our first son, I wanted to name him, “Alexander Napoleon Tilley”, just to give him an edge, but in my wife’s wisdom we decided differently, just a little too grandiose it seemed. 

Names have a way of defining who we are, our ethnicity, our heritage, our lineage, and even our personality, therefore it makes sense to use our intellect in naming our offspring. I wished I had learned that lesson for later when our second son was born in Istanbul, Turkey we decided to give him a Turkish name, which to this day confuses everyone he meets.  

But there is a name which I would like to introduce you to that confuses no one and a name which is, “above all names.” In the Bible, an angel appears to Joseph, the husband of Mary, and tells him to name their first born, “Jesus,” which means, “the one who saves.” 

The baby is named Jesus and of course, the name fits the person, for Jesus has been saving people from their sins for generations. It is a name that I hear being called out in prayer and lifted up in praise and worship.

This name has taken us to salvation, healing, forgiveness, and peace. This name has been held in honor and respect and nations around the world rally under this name in churches of various denominations. Some add to Jesus’ name and call him, “the Christ, the Messiah, Immanuel,” and the “Great I Am,” but only when you call him, “Lord,”  do you really come to understand who He is. Not Lord of others, not Lord of this earth, but Lord of your life. 

If you will call on the name of Jesus, he will save you from your sins, but when you call him Lord, he will save you from yourself, no matter what your name. So take time, Jill, Jack, Jane, Joe, and even Jose, and call him Lord, it is a real, “name changer.”

For more information on the names of Jesus, call: Pastor Rodney Tilley, Van Horn Community Church, at 432-207-0015.