Sunday Shorts are a brief rewind of Kaleo's weekly gatherings intended to equip the kommunity to live into what we're exploring together throughout the week.
X: TEN WORDS FOR THE CONTRAST COMMUNITY [PART THREE]
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Names distinguish. Names are connected to identity. And the mysterious, beyond us One that we're re-exploring in the story of the liberating Ten Words, the story associated with The Exodus, the One that we often refer to as God, has a name. In the midst of this story God says his name is Yahweh [Hebrew], which is derived from a verb meaning "to be", "to exist", "to cause to become." In essence this is a name revealing God's essence as always being, and alongside of that as always being with his people. This is a name that denotes relationship.
HOW NOT TO USE A NAME
So we have a basic sense of the essence of God's name. But what is our text getting at when it says to not misuse, use idly or take the name of God in vain? As we gathered we reflected on this a bit, and here were some of what this may be getting at: To not flippantly use God's name, or use it as an expression of anger, or as a substitute for any number of slang terms. To not use God's name as a good luck charm or incantation. To not mindlessly use God's name [for instance, when praying, may we not mindlessly utter God's name and empty words]. To not use God's name to justify our position, win an argument, or exert power over another [There are far too many examples of this in history].
After considering the various ways we might discern how to follow the instruction of the text, we considered the following question and its implications for our lives in the places we're planted: "If you take the name Christian for yourself, wouldn't everything you do be done in the name of God?"