Monday, November 29, 2010
This is a very special Advent season for our family. As we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, we look forward with much excitement to the birth of my first grandchild. My older son, Josh and his sweet wife Meredith will become parents in May. While we still don’t know if we’ll welcome a precious baby boy or girl, the entire clan is buzzing about possible names. Should it be a traditional name? An unusual name? How long should it be? What are the meanings of the potential names? And, of course, I’m all in a dither about what I, the grandmother, will be named. “Nanny” and “Grandma” were the names for my grandmothers. For me? I don’t think so. My own mother is “Gran,” so that one’s taken. My friend Peggy, with half-Greek grandchildren, is “Ya-Ya.” We’re not Greek, so that won’t work. Family and friends are weighing in on possible names. I shudder at the name my younger son is encouraging: “Big Maw!” Do I dare wait and let the child name me? Isn’t that a big risk? What if the little one comes out with something awkward or a little goofy like “Ging-Ging” or such? This is all in fun and whatever I’m named I’ll just rejoice to hold a precious child of God.
Mary and Joseph received the name for their baby through Gabriel, a messenger Archangel from God.
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 2:26-33 (NIV)
Joseph and Mary must also have recalled the words found in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV) This does not mean, however, that the Messiah’s name would actually be Immanuel. Jesus was the meaning of Immanuel, "God with us." Immanuel is one of the many titles for Jesus.
In both the Old and New Testaments there are many names given to Jesus using the phrase “He shall be called.” This was a common way of saying that people would refer to Him in many different ways. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). These were descriptors of Jesus. Luke tells us Jesus “shall be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32) and “son of God” (1:35) and “the prophet of the Highest” (1:76), but none of these was His actual name. We also know that God, the Father, is named Jehovah, but Jesus was never actually called Jehovah. The title "Christ," which means "messiah," "deliverer," or "savior," was given to him by his followers.
Jesus is the name and there is no greater name. During this Advent season let’s remember to worship the name that is above every name – JESUS!
Precious Name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of Heav’n.
Precious Name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of Heav’n