ADVENT 2020: What Did You Say Was the Baby’s Name?

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

We are on day 255 of 15 days to slow the spread.

Names are pretty significant things. Sometimes I wonder if they even help form our personalities.

Michael is a pretty common name for men in my age range. For example, there were 150 graduating students in my high school class. There were nine of us named Michael. At least that’s how many I can recall without digging out my old yearbooks.

Names in the Bible could show origin, purpose, character, or they could honor God. The name Jesus was also significant. It is the Greek variation of the Hebrew Joshua from the old testament. (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). The root meaning of the word is “savior” or “deliverer.”

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Many who are greater Biblical scholars than I will ever be can give you a deeper understanding of the significance of names.

There are also many instances in the Bible where God changed someone’s name. Abram to Abraham. Jacob to Israel. Saul to Paul.

Bruce to Caitlyn…no wait…that’s a different story.

These days corporations will spend millions of dollars to come up with the right name, and the right brand. They’ll make a huge announcement and my first response was “really, that’s what you came up with?”

I mean…Washington Football Team?

I’ve done a lot of marketing for events, for theater, for campaigns. If you need a new name, hit me up in the comments, I’ll work for a lot less.

And my solution won’t be nearly as embarrassing.

We’re on our journey to Bethlehem. So, it’s time to saddle up your ass and come along.

What? Okay, we’ll change the name to donkey.

Sunday School teachers and greeting card companies have shown us for years the image of a very pregnant Mary riding to Bethlehem on a donkey. But there’s nothing in scripture that tells us that’s how she got there.

Maybe she rode a camel, maybe she rode in a cart via the Uber of the day. Maybe she walked.

The significance is that she got there.

The greater significance is that when she got there, she delivered the child and called his name Jesus.

It’s a good name. It’s an important name.

If you’re a believer, you know that sometimes, especially when things seem pretty dark, it can be enough just to say the name.

Scripture tell us that someday, everyone will say the name.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11

Some will be offended by that. Scripture tells us that also.

For the believer, it’s a comfort. We’ve read the back of the book. We know how the story ends.

We may not like what we encounter along the way, whether it’s a pandemic, an election, or taxation by an oppressive government, Roman or otherwise.

For most of us Christmas will look a lot different this year. Never mind all of that nonsense about having to cancel Christmas. I mean, look how that worked out for the Grinch.

Maybe, just maybe, not having the parades and the parties and hopefully not even the stress will allow us to focus more on the baby in the manger.

His name is Jesus.

And that’s significant.

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