Friday, November 14, 2008

The following piece is by George MacDonald, a somewhat mystical Christian writer, and he chooses an interesting scripture to expound -"To him that overcometh, I will give a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. “ Rev. 2:17
He gives his insights on what this new name is. This will be very meaningful for some but I can see why it may not have as broad an appeal as some topics. I enjoyed it; the thrust of it is, we each are unique to God.

The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the being, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man’s own symbol, - his soul’s picture, in a word, - the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone.
For no one but God sees what the man is, or even, seeing what he is, could express in a name-word the sum and harmony of what he sees.

For the name is one “which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Not only then has each man his individual relation to God, but each man has his peculiar relation to God. He is to God a peculiar being, made after his own fashion, and that of no one else; for when he is perfected he shall receive the new name which no one else can understand. Hence he can worship God as no man else can worship him, - can understand God as no man can understand him. This or that man may understand God more, may understand God better than he, but no other man can understand God as he understands him. God give me grace to be humble before thee, my brother, that I drag not my simulacrum (something that looks like or represents something else) of thee before the judgment-seat of the unjust judge, but look up to thyself for what revelation of God thou and no none else canst give.

As the fir tree lifts up itself with a far different need from the need of the palm-tree, so does each man stand before God, and lift up a different humanity to the common Father. And for each, God has a different response. With every man he has a secret – the secret of a new name. In every man there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of peculiar life into which God only can enter.
I say not it is the innermost chamber – but a chamber into which no brother, nay, no sister can come.
From this it follows that there is a chamber also….a chamber in God himself, into which none can enter but the one, the individual, the peculiar man, - out of which that man has to bring revelation and strength for his brethren. This is that for which he was made – to reveal the secret things of the Father……

“God has cared to make me for himself,” says the victor with the white stone, “and has called me that which I like best; for my own name must be what I would have it, seeing it is myself. What matter whether I be called a grass of the field, or an eagle of the air? A stone to build into his temple, or a Boanerges to wield his thunder? I am his; his idea, his making; perfect in my kind, yea, perfect in his sight; full of him, revealing him, alone with him. Let him call me what he will. The name shall be precious as my life. I seek no more.”

Now I have no doubt I will be "grass of the field" but I can add beauty for the eye, shade for the grasshopper, and nourishment for the cow.

Photo from the Internet


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Fred :)

Very refreshing post!

This is the reason why so many religions are flourishing in this world and each religion calling God in different names.

This post also emphasises the need for religious tolerance and the need to co-exist peacefully with each other. In India we have the majority Hindus. Christians and Muslims are about 3% of the total population. The pity is that in some parts of India there is voilent religious clashes. I hope The Almighty God will restore peace and brotherhood in these places.

Many thanks for this great post!

Have a good day :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Thank you for your comments on this post, I hadn't thought of it in that light. That's why I always look forward to your comments.

I am aware of the violent religious clashes in India, the last church I attended had missionaries in Gujarat, there was tension there as well. Open proclaimation of the Gospel was dangerous in certain parts.
In the US we have religious freedom and it is one of our most precious freedoms. "Men ought always to pray."