Another wonderful piece from Connie Inglis' archived 'Mid Week Moments'. Enjoy.
What's In a Name?
In the spring of 1999, while my husband and I and our three children were settling into our third year of living in Thailand, something new happened within our organization. A contest was held in search of a new name for Canada Wide Christian Writers' Fellowship. Some of you older members may remember being a part of this contest. I know nothing of the logistics of this contest: the number of entries, the judges, how the voting proceeded, and who thought of our new name. But at the end of the voting, our organization became known as InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship.
Hats off to the winning entry. What a creative play on the word, "inscribe." It fits our fellowship so well for a number of reasons.
Within the context of common speech, the word "inscribe" is a verb--an action--it's primary meaning being (according to the Oxford Dictionary), "to write or carve (words or symbols) on something, especially as a formal or permanent record."
In Isa. 49:16 (NASB) God says, "Behold I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands." Although this verse was written initially for the Israelite nation, it is also true for all believers, and a beautiful reminder to us as InScribe members. We, as His children, are not just held in the palms of His hands, but we are inscribed there; we are engraved in His hands, as in "cut" or "carved." In other words, our place there is permanent.
But the verb "to inscribe" is also a challenge to us--that we should be actively "carving" the love of Jesus on the world, leaving a positive imprint of God and His presence on those around us.
And that brings me to the second aspect of this word. The word "inscribe" is also a transitive verb, i..e. it requires a direct object. So, just as God the Father inscribed us in His palms, and just as He inscribed the Word, His son Jesus Christ, on the world, so we, as His ambassadors, are called to give His words to a needy world. Our purpose statement says it this way: "We exist to stimulate, encourage and support Christians who write, to advance effective Christian writing, and to promote the influence of all Christians who write."
But we know that within our organization's name, InScribe is a noun. That's where the play on the word comes in--a creative way of nominalizing the verb, turning it into a noun. And what is a noun? Well the Oxford Dictionary defines "noun" as: "A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun)." And so our name becomes our identity within our fellowship. We stand together and represent Christians who write and who support other Christians who write, as our purpose statement says. We are InScribe i.e. we are "in" a group of "scribes." And again, what is our role as scribes? To inscribe--to carve His love and hope on a lost world.
Being a writer is no small calling. But we don't need to fear it, because God knows us. We are carved in His hands, remember? He has given us the gifts and abilities to be used for Him in this way. 1 Peter 4: 10,11 (ESV) says, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
So, the next time you think about your many roles and involvements, remember that you are also a member of InScribe, and that God has called you to inscribe Jesus on the world. My prayer for us this week is that we will remember that we are inscribed on the palms of His hands, and that, from that position and as His scribes, we will live fearlessly and write dangerously for Him.
Psalm 45:1 "My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe."
Called to write,
Oct 18, 2018