Throughout my life I’ve received one perennial question. Where did you get that name Cheong from? The answer is simple. I got it from my father like everyone else does (barring a few exceptions). The initial connection between name and appearance obviously hasn’t met expectations of others.
A ¼ of Australians were born over seas while over 50% have at least one parent born overseas.
Yet somehow my Scottish McPherson mother’s side has had greater influence in shaping my exterior appearance than that of my Great Grandfather who came from China at the time of the Victorian gold rush. Yes 1/8 Chinese am I, and the rest a mixture of white Welsh and Scottish. Interesting isn’t it to trace our family story back into its history, as many people are doing these days.
What’s in a name? Yes an awful lot. It carries the potency of a myriad of stories and experiences, until…. ta da! You get each one of us, as we are, at this very moment.
Don’t children love hearing stories of their parents’ younger life, or a lover getting to know ones partner? Something about the collection of each of these fragments of who we are, add to the collective knowledge of the person, leading us further along the path of being able to say, I think I know who you are.
We never complete the task for there is always more. On the other hand to reflect upon our own story, with the good and the bad, the successes and failures, etc is significant contribution on the pathway to being a whole person. To know oneself is the beginning of wisdom as one great Old Testament scripture says.
The God Story
We speak of history as that collection of events across the whole of humanity that has shaped the broad picture of humanity’s story. Time means that each event follows another, adding piece by piece to the total reality. We have a religious story, and while many are inclined to separate it out on its own, its real purpose is to embrace the total, with height, and depth and breadth and length.
Apart from the timeless speculations of the origin of creation covered over the first few chapters of the bible, the rest is a library of books covering the Judeo Christian story of some 2000 years, and followed by our past 2000 ensuing years through till today.
The nature of life is that due to time, each fragment and learning is laid out one by one, day after day, year after year, century after century. Like in our own lives, the story of history is an accumulation of the past. Along this journey we learn our lessons and paint a meaningful history.
The Religious story takes the many fragments and weaves them together believing that the most meaningful story is revealed to us.
The great pillars of the Christian Story include the insight that God created. That God revealed the divine in the human Jesus and that his spirit lives on in all, beckoning us to welcome him. History’s way is to teach portion by portion, but no experience is an isolated fragment. The story is an accumulation.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We speak of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We say three in one and one in three because we are trying to allude to the dynamic unity of all things. The static definition is a momentary snap shot.
The living experience is a dynamic unity that involves the totality of all.
Patronal Festival and Baptism
Trinity Sunday is our Patronal festival/Birthday/Anniversary. And today, we gather for these special baptisms. Its uniqueness is the choice of a persons name and we baptize or immerse that person in the name of the father son and Holy Spirit.
We are making a commitment to live (for an adult) or nurture a child in that dynamic unity of the ultimate being of life that we call father son and holy spirit or the Holy Trinity. We believe that its in the name of the trinity or that dynamic experience of all that is this is the pathway to wholeness.
What’s in a name? An incredible amount - it’s the totality of all that we are.
Rather than fragments we leave behind day after day and year after year as if we have lost our past, we add every experience to the collective being of who we are today. And for the baptized, that totality is being lived out in the totality of all being.
I’m not one to wear names on my tee shirt. That is only a fragment of what I like. I prefer others to look me in the face and see the whole person that the Trinity of father son and Holy Spirit is transforming me into.