(Let me interrupt for just a moment. When I say “we” watch Downton Abbey, I mean my daughter and I, and my twelve year old son. Yes, my son. It began as mild interest because Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall of the Harry Potter franchise) stars, but he is totally hooked now. One day I mentioned to him that, in all likelihood, there were not many other boys his age who watched Downton Abbey. He very matter-of-factly replied, “They don’t know anything about women.”)
In the last episode in season three, the family goes to visit the earl’s cousin in Scotland, and there is a fleeting scene with the household staff of the Scottish estate and the personal attendants of the earl’s family eating a meal together. The Scottish servants addressed their English counterparts, not by their given names, but by the name of the individual they served. Mr. and Mrs. Grantham were the valet and lady’s maid for Lord and Lady Grantham.
Their identity was determined by the one they served.
In Acts 11:26, it says “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” They weren’t just “learners” any more. They were do-ers, imitators, “little Christs.” The name was meant to mock by those who spit it at the first century believers. In some circles, in some locations that’s still the case. The name carries a preconception to almost everyone who hears it. Often times because of those preconceptions or in our deference to political correctness, we shy away from the name.
He never does that to us though. He never mumbles under His breath that we belong to Him. No, He makes lavish declarations about us. In Scripture we are called:
- His friends (John 15:15)
- Holy, blameless, accepted (Ephesians 1:4-6)
- His own special people (1 Peter 2:9)
- A New creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Elect (Colossians 3:12)
- Heirs (Titus 3:7)
And many others. The name “Christian” may be a slur to some, but it identifies me with the Savior I serve. I’ll gladly take the name.
Next week: One more Downton post.