Sermon: What Is in a Name?

What is in A Name
Matthew 1:21
December 13, 2015  RUMC

When a couple is told the exciting news that they are going to have a child, one very important thing they must be do is choose a name.  It is important because that child will have to live with that name the rest of his or her life.  So what parents often do is get a baby book and see what name is popular.  Some families are influenced by celebrities, pop culture, and religion.  Below are the most popular boy’s and girl’s names for 2015:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. Mason
  4. Ethan
  5. Logan
  6. Lucas
  7. Oliver
  8. Jackson

Most popular girl’s names were:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Sophia
  4. Ava
  5. Isabella
  6. Mia
  7. Charlotte
  8. Amelia
  9. Madison’
  10. Emily

In certain African countries, children are often named after some special event or circumstance.  For example, when I was a seminary student, one of my classmates was from Ghana and had an unusual first name.  His parents named him Monday, because that was the day of the week in which he was born.

In one African village, the doctor told the parents of a very sick child that he was not sure if the baby would survive, so the baby was named ‘Godknows’ and that child survived.

One mother named her child ‘Enough’ because he was the 13th child in the family and as far as the mother was concerned, he was the last one.

In the Bible, we are told Mary and Joseph were not the ones who chose the baby’s name, but it was the Angel of the Lord, sent by God, who told them the child’s name was to be Jesus.

Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means “the Lord Saves.”  And he was given a prophetic name and that was Immanuel which means “God is with us.”  So when we look at Jesus and what his names represent it is “the Lord saves” and “God is with us.”  That is pretty much who He is.

Our Lord came into the world to be our savior when he died for our sins.  But when he rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit came into our lives, He now becomes God with us.

It is said that the magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence. 

With Jesus as our Immanuel or God with us, may we bless others with the spirit of Christmas love.  In my Christmas letter to the church, which was mailed out on Friday, I shared with you some inspirational words that are found on a Christmas tree.  Let me close with things we can do to make it a very good Christmas for ourselves and others.  Then we can truly be children of Immanuel, God with us.

end a quarrel.  Seek out
a forgotten friend.  Dismiss
suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer. Keep a promise. Find the
time.   Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy.  Listen.
Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand.
Examine your demands on other people/Appreciate.  Laugh a little.
Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude.  Gladden the heart of a child.
Welcome a stranger.
Take pleasure in the
beauty and wonder of the
earth. Speak of your love.
Speak it again.
Speak it once again.