Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. . .Doff thy name, and for that name which is no part of thee, take all myself.”
Romeo: “Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized; henceforth I never will be Romeo.”
Today, Miss Meghan Honnold will become Mrs. Meghan Stevenson. She is doing just the opposite of Shakespeare’s Juliet. She is not asking Zach to “doff” his name. . .She is taking his name.
I am struck by two things: A bride’s humility displayed in her willingness to change her name and a groom’s responsibility in sharing his name.
The bride taking the groom’s name is a powerful illustration of one flesh in marriage. Most of us have seen the lighting of the unity candle in a wedding ceremony. . .two lit outside candles are brought together to light a center unity candle and then the outside candles are extinguished. The unity candle vividly displays the Biblical invitation for a man and woman to leave their individualism and be united by God as one. This illustration happens at the wedding and then is done.
Taking the groom’s name is a daily and eternal illustration of the miracle of one flesh. Every time you say or see your name, you are reminded of the humility and responsibility within this miraculous name change. You are reminded of the Biblical challenge in Ephesians 5 for wives to submit to their husbands as you both submit to the Lord, and for husbands to love their wives just a Christ loved the Church and gave His life for her.
Meghan and Zach are prepared for the gravity of such a miracle.
Isn’t it interesting that Shakespeare refers to the sacrament of baptism in this “What’s in a name” scene? I had the privilege of baptizing Zachary when he was very young, and I also had the privilege of baptizing Meghan when she was a young teenager. I was there when they publicly declared their faith in Jesus Christ. The name change that takes place at their wedding is really the fruit of an even greater name change: Christian.
Remember the words of Paul in Ephesians 3:14, 15: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
There is gravity in the reality that Meghan is taking Zach’s name. But there is an even deeper reality: They have both taken God’s name.
Will you take my name?, I’ll take your hand. Together walk, in God’s plan. Through waters deep and springtime sweet: Share my fame, bear my pain, take my name.
Take my name, I’ll take your hand. We make our vow, we wear the band. We’ll never leave, forever cleave. Share the fame, bear the pain, take my name.
We will take Your Name, You take our hand, And lead us to our promised land. Through waters deep and springtime sweet, We’ll share Your fame, bear Your pain, we’ll take Your Name.
Precious Name, Oh how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven! Precious Name, Oh how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven!
We’ll share Your fame, bear Your pain, we’ll take Your Name.