Why was I surprised? Shouldn’t have been. Yet it threw me a curveball. Had to sit back and consider my options. What was I to do? Seemed boxed in. Maybe I should sleep on it. Time to cool down. Pour some oil on troubled waters.
What’s happened? I’m commissioned to write seven devotionals for a magazine of my old denomination. A group I quit decades ago. Last time I wrote for them was in the early 1980’s. Guess my name emerges as a writer of uplifting daily devotionals. Fooled them! But I’m excited to get started.
However, their writing specifications shock me. If I had false teeth, they’d fall out. Could have knocked me over with a feather. What gives? They require that I should never use the masculine gender for God. Forbidden words like ‘Father’, ‘Son’, ‘He’, ‘Him’, whatever, whoever. The gender cops are out in full force. Yellow police tape wraps around my computer, bullying ‘Keep Him Out’! Understand my quandary?
First thought was to bag it. Chuck it out the window. Toss it on the rubbish bin, ready for the dump. Somehow I decide not to be hasty. Sit in this pickle a bit longer. Can always refuse their offer, yet I’d give my eyeteeth for one more opportunity to lift high the name of Jesus with a group I no longer identify with. Our paths no longer parallel . Our views of the Bible, salvation by faith in Jesus alone, you name it, are increasingly opposed.
So, I pray– ‘Lord, what should I do? You know my heart. That I want to share you with others, especially to those I poorly witnessed to all those years ago.’ No heavenly voice is heard, or message on the walls or in the sky. Only a spark from a Bible verse. And I know the source. Any guesses?
Philippians 2:9– ‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name.’ Now I know what to do. Lift up the name of Jesus. Forget writing ‘he’ and ‘him’. Just write ‘Jesus’. All throughout those seven devotionals, I raise up the name of my Lord Jesus. Over and over again. Then more. And once again. Jesus!
The results? Accepted by the editors! Really? Yes, really and truly! And feedback from readers all over the country, and even some overseas, overwhelms me. I connect with many more than I imagined. Why? I know why. So do you.
Do the same. Lift up the name of Jesus, the name above all names, whether anyone likes it or not. Boldly. Lift high His name. Jesus!
Thank you, Jesus, for being Lord of all. Always and forever in your name. Amen.