When you find out someone is expecting a child, what questions come to mind? Depending on how far along the pregnancy is I often wonder three things. When is the baby due? Do you know what the gender is? (Or, are you going to find out the gender or leave it as a surprise?) And, do you have some names picked out? Of course you want to respect a couple’s privacy and so I don’t usually drill down too hard with the gender and name questions. I open the door and if they want to volunteer details I gladly listen!
Sometimes the name question prompts a follow-up: how did you arrive at that name? Any number of answers can be given to that question, but whatever the answer is, it always gives insight into the family—likes and dislikes, names in the extended family, ways of making decisions, and such.
As we enter this Christmas season and revisit the very familiar Bible story about the birth of Christ, we will ask this same question: “What will you call him?” If you ask that question as you read Matthew 1-2 you will find a remarkable number of answers! Give it a try and see how many you discover! Include names, titles, and how he is referred to. (I came up with eleven.)
The answers to this question give us insight into who the Baby is and what the Father had in mind by sending His Son. They prompt us to greater love for and deeper worship of our great God. They help us refocus on the real point of this season.
I will preach about these names for Jesus … no, not eleven Christmas sermons! I have narrowed it down to four: Savior, Immanuel, Messiah, and King. We have some special features in store for our December worship services which you won’t want to miss! O come let us adore Him!
On a personal note, Sue Ann and I are grateful to the Lord for the privilege of serving Him with you. How time passes! This will be our ninth Christmas season in Clinton! Our hope is that each of you will be filled with the joy of Jesus and with an increased sense of God’s love for you in Christ. From our family to yours, we extend to you the warmest of Christmas greetings.