Names, Names, Names

The names of stores are fascinating.  In the 1940’s when I was a little guy there were Five and Dime stores when everything inside only cost a nickel or a dime.  There are still a few Five and Dimes around but the name doesn’t have anything to do with their prices. Now we have Dollar Stores and Five Below that do still reflect prices.  Forever 21 is a creative name appealing to a woman’s desire not to get old.  I wonder why Target is Target?  Sears was because of Mr. Sears and J.C. Penney was about a man and not prices.  Today I looked at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Beyond must mean we have other stuff.  But I was reminded of Buzz Lightyear’s famous line, “To infinity and beyond” which I have always liked.  It should be the name for a church.

Church names are intriguing.  In a few words they want to tell you about themselves.  There is the Church of God.  That sort of leaves everyone else out.  There is the Church of Christ.  That’s exclusive.  The Jewish Synagogue identifies the worshippers as descendants of Judah.  Lutherans are followers of Martin Luther’s theology.  The Catholic Church means universal.  That gives the Church of God name serious competition.  There are Jehovah Witnesses, They do try to witness when they come to our doors.  There are Seventh-day Adventists who are Christians that believe Jesus is returning (advent) and they go to church on Saturday, the seventh day of the week.

Names tell us a lot about who we are.  We have Greek, Italian, Swedish and Chinese names.  So when we use the name “Christian” to describe ourselves we are trying to say something about who we are.  I hope we don’t disappoint.

Written by Roger Bothwell on July 22, 2015

PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574