A White Stone

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:17; Isaiah 43:1-7

I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2:17)

My older sister told me that my parents thought about naming me James. It’s weird to think that I might have gone through life as Jimmy rather than Dave. Dave is my name, it’s who I am. This version of me is flawed—don’t I know it! But the Bible says that one day I will be like Jesus himself. Of all God’s promises about the future, this is the hardest for me to imagine. I can sort of picture the new creation: new heavens, new earth, eternal life. I can’t even begin to picture the new me.

The Lord promises us a new name that will fit our new nature, written on a white stone. It sounds like a fairy tale.

“Here and there and not just in books,” writes Frederick Buechner, “we catch glimpses of a world of once upon a time and they lived happily ever after, of a world where there is a wizard to give courage and a heart, an angel with a white stone that has written on it our true and secret name, and it is so easy to dismiss it all that it is hardly worth bothering to do . . . But if . . . our glimpses of it . . . are only a dream, they are one of the most haunting and powerful dreams that the world has ever dreamed” (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale).

The gospel is a fairy tale; just one that happens to be true. —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for your new name.