The practice of genealogy, the practice of researching one’s ancestors and family tree, has exploded lately. It’s an understandable obsession, of course, wanting to know who we are and where we came from. In researching my family tree, I turned to our family Bible where births from the 1800’s had been recorded. I immediately noticed a name change from one line to the next. In recording a birth, someone had added an extra “s” to the last name. It was a subtle change and most likely a simple mistake, but that extra “s” has continued through the generations to the present.
When God changed a person’s name, it was no simple mistake or oversight. Instead, the name change usually to establish a new identity in a person’s life. For instance, in Genesis 17, God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations”. Later in Genesis 32, God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” meaning “having power with God”. In the gospel of John, God changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to “Peter” the “rock”.
There are many more name changes throughout scripture. These changes were a way for God to let the people know that they were destined for a new mission in life and that God had a divine plan and purpose for them.
In 2016, the Advocate changed from quarterly printed word to the current website and weekly articles, but we kept the name the same. With the change to a website, the Advocate has created a new identity with a broader audience. We need your help in creating a new name for this site! What ideas do you have about possible names for this weekly blog that seeks to help connect, enrich, empower and sustain educators?
We’ll announce the new name at the Annual Event in Louisville! By the way, registration is open! Join us in Lousiville!