What Is In A Name?

In today’s culture, a name is usually nothing more than a marker to distinguish one person from another, i.e., a label. We often name our children particular names because we “like” the name, or maybe because it holds some sentimental value to us. That was not the case in ancient times. Names were not simply labels; they most often signified a person’s character, authority, worth, reputation, or maybe even their standing within the society. Solomon’s name means “peace,” and he was the first king to rule without widespread warfare. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh, or “causing to forget,” as a sign to his brothers of his forgiveness for selling him into slavery. Let’s look at Jesus Christ. His name fully defines who he is and what he does. In Hebrew, Jesus’ name literally means “savior.” We see this is Matthew 1:21, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” The name Christ means “Messiah” in Hebrew and “the anointed one” in Greek. So, you see Jesus’ name is in reality, Jesus the Christ. Or better yet, Christ Jesus, the “anointed Messiah who saves.”

We feel that Twin Rivers Vineyard Church is a name that defines who we are and what we want to be, and not simply a label to differentiate us from other churches. Let me explain. In 1998 God deposited a vision in Dave of a park bench overlooking a river. In 2009, God revealed that vision to be a park bench in Union Point Park in New Bern, North Carolina. Union Point Park sits on a point in downtown New Bern at the confluence (union) of the Neuse and Trent rivers. We previously had several names in mind, but one day God simply placed the name “twin rivers” in Robyn’s heart as the name we should use. And what is a river? A river is a body of water that usually starts from a small stream and flows into a larger body of water, often the ocean. Rivers have a number of uses. They can be a source of water or food, can be used for irrigation, can be used to transport people and things from one place to another, and are often a source for generating power.

We at Twin Rivers Vineyard Church desire to be a people who hear God’s voice and respond. We also want to be a conduit, like a river, that helps move each of us from where we are to where we need to be … in the presence of God. The Bible is bookended with references to a river. In Genesis 2:10 we read, “Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden.” And in Revelation 22:1 we read of “a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God, and of the Lamb.” The former refers to the Garden of Eden, and the latter, to John’s glimpse into heaven.

So, we hope that you will see that the name Twin Rivers Vineyard Church, while it does serve as a marker, really is intended to define who we are and what we want to be.

Dave Garrett

January 28, 2012