And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 1:31
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. Luke 1:13
And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. Luke 1:63-64
The Seventh Gift of Christmas: A Name
Names are important. They represent who we are. And we may receive many throughout our lives. Of course, the name on the birth certificate is incredibly significant. It is a gift—bestowed in love.
Other names, we earn—teacher, lawyer, friend. Each name we acquire over time speaks into our lives. It shapes the people we become.
God placed incredible importance on the process of naming and the significance of naming. In Mary’s first encounter with the angel, she is told to name her forthcoming son, Jesus. Even before Mary becomes pregnant, her cousin, Elizabeth, and her husband are instructed to name their child John. When John is born, as soon as his father conveys to everyone else what his name shall be, his speech was restored.
Names matter! When God tells us to call Jesus Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, He is exemplifying the power that a name bestows and conveys. It is a significant part of our identity, which is incredibly easy to lose sight of at times.
This Christmas, do you remember the names God has given you? If not, start with this one—beloved. Because you are. The core of your personhood lies within the fact that you are a precious, chosen child of God.
As you intentionally focus on your own God-given identity, keep in mind those whose identities have been stolen. Human trafficking is a global travesty on an unprecedented scale. Men and women are bought and sold like property—no names, no identity. But today, you can help a victim reclaim a small part of who and whose they are. By sponsoring a safe place for a day, you can grant a reprieve from the perpetual cycle of slavery and servitude and allow someone to be a real person—beloved and cherished by the same God who loves and adores you.
Father, please help me remember how you have called me your own. Help me keep in mind that I am your beloved and am called to honor your son for all that He is and all He has done. Help me also remember those who no longer have an identity they can call their own. Let me bring a small bit of peace and comfort to them today. Thank you for being Almighty God of us all.