Like most Americans, I have played with my family tree. I have found interesting things. I have come up against the occasional brick wall.
And I have found things I would have rather not uncovered, like four brothers far back on my grandfather's ancestry. They didn't like the way the new government had taken over their land, so they acted as spies for the British during the Revolutionary War. Apparently, the town didn't forgive them and didn't even let them be buried in the town cemetery. Hmmm. . . I'd rather just forget that part.
I found a great-great-great grandfather who fought in the Civil War and died as a Prisoner of War at Elmira Civil War Prison Camp in New York in 1865.
I found a grandfather who immigrated from Greece, one who immigrated from Ireland and a grandmother of Irish-Scott and Jewish heritage.
There are many names in my family tree I don't recognize, but some of the names I know because they are repeated in the names of people I now know. My brother carries my both my grandfathers' names. I am named after my paternal grandmother. My sister is named after my maternal grandmother. Things just have a way of repeating. Even generations later, we found similar names repeating. Yet those who once bore those names have been long forgotten. At least to us.
There is One however who does not forget. There is One who not only remembers us, but gives us a name which is known to no one else.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." --Revelation 2:17
People often have "pet" names for each other. My husband calls me "Sweetie pie" more than he ever calls me by name. The girls at work rarely call me Frances. They call me what all my family has called me as long as I can remember, "Frannie." Our youngest daughter started calling her older sister "Mo" years ago, and still does to this day. Our son affectionately calls -- and even sends mail to -- his little sister under the name "Big Potato-Head."
I think we all love an affectionate name, something special between us and that person. A name reserved just for the two of us. How much greater when that name is between us and the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Imagine what it will sound like to have that name -- known only between the two of us, and therefore spoken only between the two of us -- spoken by His lips? What rapture must fill our hearts at that sound!
Many in our family tree may eventually forget us. . .friends we have known along the way may no longer remember or name or our face. But there is One waiting to give us that white stone and whisper our name so that only we can hear. The only sweeter than that will be our whispering of His name back to Him. . .
Jesus is the sweetest name I know, And He's just the same as His lovely Name, And that's the reason why I love Him so; Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.