God’s got a thing for names…

I am named after 2 uncles.  Leonard & Edward.  I do not recall ever meeting them; I did speak to my uncle Leonard once on the phone.  I had a few nicknames growing up.  One of them was Lynyrd Skynyrd. (The greatest rock and roll band ever, just sayin.)  I guess this was just one of the many perks growing up with the name Leonard.  This evolved to LEO-SKOE.  I was also given labels.  Class Clown, funny guy… these were more than a nickname.  I was even voted “Most Gentlemanly” when I was in High School.  Our given names, our nicknames and our titles all communicate something about us.

It is not uncommon for a parent to give their kid a name before they are born.  There are books filled with names from which to choose and many parents think long and hard about the name their offspring will be carrying the rest of their days.  But here is something we don’t really do.  We don’t label or nickname our kids before they are born.  Those kinds of titles come after we have met them.  Unless you are Jesus…

700 years before Jesus entered the scene in an obscure village, more famous for the people born there than anything else, Jesus was given a name, labels and titles and nicknames.

It says in Isaiah – “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” This means God with us.  We also read “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

This is epic!  Immanuel!  Wonderful Counselor!  Mighty God!  Everlasting Father!  Prince of Peace!  Wow!!!  These names tell me who HE is.  These names reveal how HE interacts with me.  These names point me to hope.  These names instruct my life about my God.  These names make me smile, tremble, lean into grace, hold on tight, feel small, feel safe, know security and trust hard in the CHRIST of CHRISTmas.

These names reveal a God who is to be revered, trusted, worshipped, obeyed, praised, thanked, followed, feared, listened too, shared, spoken of, laughed with, confided in, believed completely and loved with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

These names reveal how God loves me, forgives me, cares for me, trusts me, gifts me, is faithful to me, blesses me, instructs me and what He requires of me.

Let’s face it; God has a thing for names.  As I get to know His names, I begin to love and know the one who wrote my name down in a book, His book.  The book that says I am His forever.  As I get to know His names I get to know the one who promised to give me a new name, known only to Him and me.  Heading into Christmas this week, I will try and write a bit more about the names, but nothing I write could be better than this.  Off… we go now.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:9-11

~ by OFF we go now on December 20, 2010.

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