St. Petersburg is the world’s most northern city with a population of over 5 million. It is also Russia’s second largest and most western city. St. Petersburg was named for St. Peter, the Apostle of Christ, and it’s filled withfantastically ornate, colorful and unique churches and cathedrals. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts one of the world’s largest and most impressive art museums, The Hermitage (which I’ll write about in an upcoming post). Tsar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in 1703 at the intersection of the Neva River delta and the marshlands at the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Finland. Tens of thousands of workers died building the intricate grid of canals and (eventually) the 342 bridges that interconnect this beautiful city. St. Petersburg has earned such nicknames as “Venice of the North” and “The City of 101 Islands.” Personally, I would call her the Amsterdam of the North, since the canals are lined with colorful buildings and alive with boats of every size and description. There is the ultramodern “Western High Speed Diameter” for road vehicles, but I would say that—in St. Petersburg—ships rule! Unlike most cities, St. Petersburg has gone through a series of name changes that reflect the political upheaval of this great nation. During World War 1, Lenin changed the name to Petrograd, and after his death in 1924, the city was named Leningrad in his honor. It wasn’t until 67 years later when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 that St. Petersburg was again called by her first (and—to me—best) name. Do you know what your name means? Mine means “pure battle maiden,” and I’ve tried to live up to that name, but over the course of my life, —in troubled times—someone might have called me something less. 😦 None of us are always consistently what we aspire to be, nor is life as idyllic as we wish it to be, but it is our “name” and aspirations that make us truly unique.No matter what your name is, or if you’ve changed it several times or failed to live up to it, there is a “name above all names.” We don’t have to die for our God; He died for us! All He asks is that we repent of our sins, believe in Christ and trust Him to save us. He will help us grow in our ability to love and be kind.It’s true we’ll never be as flawless as we’d like to be, but God loves us anyway! “Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer, Living word.”
“Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13).