Hi, My Name Is…

Our University Ministries department hosts a weekly chapel service for the faculty, staff and students. On the days that communion will be served, everyone is encouraged to wear a name tag. This is so the servers can refer to each person by name as they receive the elements. For today’s Ash Wednesday service, the name tags were out – so we could each be referred to by name as ashes were placed upon our foreheads. A few minutes into the message, I noticed something. The campus pastor was wearing a name tag.

Most people who attend chapel are regulars; and even those who may have just been attending because it was Ash Wednesday would be familiar with her as the campus pastor. And certainly, the person who would apply ashes to her forehead would know her name. Yet, there she stood with that name tag. I interpreted this in two ways.

First, by wearing a name tag despite the fact that everyone was probably well aware of who she was, our campus pastor was modeling plain ol’ obedience. That’s what it looks like. Just do it. That’s all.

Secondly, her actions demonstrated to me a wonderful example of humility. Though she is the campus pastor, she makes no assumption that she is known by all. We live in a world where so many are focused on making a name for themselves (remember how well that went over in Genesis 11 – we’re still paying the price). So it’s nice to see that there are leaders who still operate in humility.

Just a thought.

P.S. No, I didn’t get so caught up in her name tag that I didn’t hear the message. It was a beautiful analogy of how God wants to cleanse us during this season of Lent – like a mother gently bathing her newborn, not like a harsh taskmaster roughly scrubbing us with a Brillo pad. So, see? I was listening! (You can too, by checking out the podcasts here.)