by, Linda DeSilva
The Government (in Bermuda) is planning to rename Corkscrew Hill and the Sports Stadium in honour of our Olympian Champion, Flora Duffy. This is in keeping with the policy of recent years, when various other locations have been renamed in recognition of heroes and heroines of the past… a fitting tribute to those who have contributed to Bermuda’s heritage.
Not only locations, however, but people receive new names or designations, achieved by various means: marriage, promotion, educational accomplishments, or elevation to a higher professional status, etc. These are welcomed by the recipients who have often studied and worked diligently to reach a higher level.
Unfortunately, however, there are some whose names are well-known for dubious activities. Wise parents teach their children early in life to develop good values. “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1 a)
By the grace of God, reputations (good and bad) are not set in stone. Change is possible. In the course of history, we see examples of both. Rulers who started out well, changed course and became tyrants. Conversely, people of dubious reputation repented and became examples of good and godly behaviour. In this life, it is not too late to change course. ‘God permits U-turns.’
Paul, the persecutor, met Christ and became ‘The Apostle Paul’. The repentant infidel slave trader, John Newton, preached the Gospel and encouraged William Wilberforce in his fight to end slavery.
A redeemed Charles Colson, of Watergate notoriety, founded Prison Fellowship, which God blessed to bring new hope and life to prisoners in many countries.
New life is available to all who repent and commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. A new name is given – no longer a ‘sinner’ bound for a lost eternity; each one who comes to Christ is designated a ‘saint’ (Christ-follower). ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17a. NIV) Each overcomer will receive a secret new name. (Revelation 2:17)
“There’s a new name written down in glory. And it’s mine, Oh, yes, it’s mine. With my sins forgiven, I am bound for heaven, Nevermore to roam!” (C.A.M.)