What's in a name?

19/07/21What's in a name?

A couple of weeks ago, the Bishop of Chester visited our school as we officially opened our new school building with a small ceremony. The building was named VERITAS (TRUTH- Jesus said ‘I am the truth’ John 14:6) and as you know, our other building is called CARITAS (LOVE ‘God is love’ 1 John 4:8) With these names comes the prayer that the students who study here will grow in ‘Love and Truth’

Names are very important and throughout history have been chosen to represent the character of the person named. We see this very clearly in the bible (i.e. the name Jesus means ‘God will save’.)

Sadly this week, names have been used in a very negative way as three young men, representing their country missed a penalty and the nation was plunged into disappointment as we came second in the Euros. Negative names were spoken causing hurt and pain to thousands of people. In these cases, names do not define who we are. I wonder how often we too have used names in a derogative way… jest in the playground or with siblings… or have been on the receiving end of negative words that have caused us pain? How quick are we to judge ourselves and others without seeing them as God does?

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

Let’s take a look at the heart of some of the young men who represented our country in the Euro Final:

Jordan Henderson spent the first lockdown raising millions for the NHS and organising every other Premier League Captain to do the same. Raheem Sterling’s Dad was shot dead when he was 2, yet he turned into a top player and also a BAME leader speaking out on racial injustice, for which he’s received an MBE. Jack Grealish has lost a brother and has a sister with cerebral palsy, who he describes as his best friend. Tyrone Mings was homeless for part of his childhood and worked his way up to this level from being a part-time barman. He’s suffered much racial abuse along the way. Jordan Pickford has spoken openly about receiving counselling at the start of this season, which has helped his game but also might help ‘blokey blokes’ to get the mental health support they need. Declan Rice was released by Chelsea at 14 for being too weak, yet he worked his way to the top by sheer determination and hard work. Kalvin Phillips was raised by an overworked mum and a loving Grandma while his Dad was in prison, yet did not let his circumstances affect his future. Marcus Rashford grew up dependent on charity for food and has single-handedly forced a U-turn in government policy over the last year to ensure others get the same, as well as donating millions to that cause and setting up book clubs for disadvantaged children.

The truth is, we may never represent our country or do such great feats at such a young age as these men, but God has a purpose and a plan for each one of us. As we look back on the school year, let us not let disappointments or negative words affect the destiny God has for us. The bible tells us we are children of the King of Kings with a hope, a future and a destiny!

So let’s celebrate each other’s achievements, believe in ourselves and others, dream big dreams for the future, work hard and speak out words of ‘Love and Truth’.