How did you get your name? Do you know the story of how you were named? How did you decide on names for your kids?
A couple years ago my mom admitted that I am named after Christopher Robin from the popular children’s books, television, and movies. She often adds, “Aren’t you glad I didn’t name you Winnie the Pooh?” Yes, mom.
Maybe you were named after a family member or after someone your parents respected. Maybe your parents tried to match you with the meaning of your name. Maybe your parents just liked the way your name sounded.
Whatever the case, your name is yours. Your name has powerful over you. Nothing stirs me to attention like someone shouting out my full name as if I am suddenly and certainly in trouble for something I undoubtably did.
In the gospel this week we hear how Joseph and Mary decided to name Jesus. God told them their son would be named Jesus. Think about it, they didn’t get to choose. One of the great joys of parenthood is that you get to name your children. You get to pick what people will call them (until middle school).
Mary and Joseph in, yet another, moment of profound obedience to God listen closely and do what that angel tells them, “you are to name Him Jesus.” Why? Jesus means “God saves.” Jesus’ very name tell us His mission. In the name of Jesus, we are reminded that God has come to save us. Jesus’ mission is to save us from slavery to sin and death and through him can live forever with the God who loves us without limit.
This Christmas, as you celebrate the coming of Jesus, remember that you are the object of Jesus’ mission. You are loved and you are His.
Pray the name of Jesus. Try tomorrow to say, prayerful, the name of Jesus 12 times. How? Say Hail Marys (name of Jesus right in the middle). Invite Jesus in with the simple prayer, “Come Lord Jesus, Come!” Simply say the name of Jesus over and over as prayerful as you can, after all His name is a prayer!