Saturday, December 17, 2011

What's In a Name?

I have sisters –in-law who are elementary school teachers. With the start of each new school year, our family is entertained by the unusual or ridiculous names of children in their classrooms. A familiar name gets an update with a unique spelling, or a child is saddled with a long title, or, as the present trend seems to be, children are named for an object. Listed under celebrity baby names I found Apple, Banjo, Ocean and Moon Unit.

I was named after a woman in the Bible, and my name means ‘companion; friend’. I like to think that I’ve become someone who resembles the person I was named for. An endearing nickname secured my sense of belonging among family and close friends. Names do matter.

In today’s Scripture, Isaiah predicts the birth of a child who will come with great mission and purpose. He will be as a light in the darkness, and a deliverer who causes rejoicing. He will govern, and his kingdom will have no end. A single name for this baby is too confining. He will be called…

Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace

Jesus’ birth fulfilled this prophecy and for those of us who have received adoption into his family, we know how well these names fit him. The times I’m confused or in need of guidance, Jesus counsels me through Scripture or through other believers inspired by his words. God is mighty in creation, and in working things out for good in the messiness of my life. To call Jesus, Father, means we are family, and I belong to him. I even have the privilege of using his nickname, Abba. This Father’s care for me is lasting and forever.

When life is uncertain, when insecurity makes me anxious, when conflict brings turmoil, and when worry has seized control of my mind, I run to the Prince of Peace to find refuge and help. In this place of rest, those who struggle to make peace with their given name, will find Jesus calling them Loved and Chosen.

There is a glorious King above heaven and earth who came down into our world so we could be familiar with the one whose name is above all names. I am awed and filled with wonder.


  1. what's in a name.....when I think about that Ruth....I think of so many amazing things....and in His name true power and freedom.

  2. I enjoyed this post.
    I am so thankful for all the names we know our Savior to be. What peace and security come from all them, from Him.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Names are important. I feel sorry for some people because of the name they are "saddled" with. Ruth is a good name. I had a dear aunt who was like a second mother to me named Ruth. So there are many reasons I like that name.
    You are blessed to have a Biblical name. And we are blessed to know the one whose name is above all names.
    Thank you for sharing.


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