When I was in college, I had a friend named Moses Beauregard Fritz. I have always known him as such. His father and mother always called him Mosie… which I assume is the nickname for Moses. He grew up in Kentucky. I learned that in Kentucky calling people by their nicknames is more common. Nobody is ever called by their birth name. But at one point I had to write a check to him, and I wrote, “Moses” and he said to me, “Oh, you have to use my real name.” I was shocked, “I thought Moses was your real name!” For over four years, I knew Moses as Moses. But he then reveals that his name is Robert Keith Fritz. WWWHHHAAAATTTT!!!! “How in the world did you go from Robert Keith Fritz to Moses Beauregard Fritz? And Mosie is the nickname of your nickname?” In classic fashion he says, “I dunno.” Nice.
Choi, Choi-Boy, Change, Chewy, Troy, Asian Sensation, Korean Wonderboy, and Pocket Change, and PC. Those are the nicknames that I have been called up to this point. Each one of these nicknames has a certain story of why I am “named” as such. But a nickname, is just certainly that, a nickname. A nickname does not define who you are as a whole human being. You may come with multiple nicknames in your lifetime, but none of those names really tell your entire life story.
I was thinking about nicknames because as I was studying scripture during my daily devotionals I have come to realize the incredible names of Jesus. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Son of God, Son of Man, Emmanuel, Lord, Master, the Word. Now I am sure I am leaving a few names out of this blog. But isn’t that astounding to think about the amount of names Jesus has been called in His lifetime. Each one of those names does not completely tell the entire story of Jesus, just parts of it. Each of those names of Christ cannot define Jesus 100%, only giving us bits and pieces to Jesus’ true identity and nature.
Even so, thin about the names of God! YHWH, I Am, Lord, Father, and the numerous idioms and metaphors for God. That is a lot of names and a lot of definitions. So why does Jesus and God have so many names? Well, I really have no idea why. But to me I think those names are personal to people who can identify easy to certain names that bring a certain meaning. Also possibly the many names of God and Jesus has its purpose that they cannot be easily put in a box with a simple definition. God and Jesus should be complex for all of us! To think that we know for certain who Jesus and God is fully is absolute arrogance.
So just think about your name or nicknames you have had in your life. At some point you were defined as a certain person, but 20 years from now, you might not be that person anymore. You have grown up, and grown out of certain names. Even you life, and life’s direction is just as mysterious and complex than you realize. So just remember, if you find your life to be complex and that naming for you has certain meaning that had its place and time, think about how much more so that is with Jesus and God.
What you know about God and Jesus when you were 5 years old may be quite different to how you identify with God and Jesus today, and it will be much different 10 years from now as well. God is always revealing not just who you truly are, but also revealing who He really is as well.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).