As I was studying to teach on the letter to the church in Pergamum, I read the verse about the white stone:
To everyone who conquers I will give . . . a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it (Revelation 2:17, NRSV).
This verse reminded me of a sermon George MacDonald wrote called “The New Name” where he penetrates the mystery of this obscure phrase (in Unspoken Sermons):
The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the being, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man’s own symbol,—his soul’s picture, in a word,—the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. . . . When is it given? When he has overcome. . . . Such a name cannot be given until the man is the name.
What encouragement to those of us on the path to becoming our true name.