My hope and my prayer for you and your family is that you will make some time this Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day to stop and reflect together on the reason we celebrate Christmas. Below is a Christmas Devotion that I wrote called "There's Just Something About That Name". You can also download the devotion to print (see bottom of article). Take a few moments and read through this together, and then spend a few moments reflecting on the most AMAZING gift that we have all been given... Jesus Christ!
Merry Christmas and Many Blessings!
There’s Just Something About That Name
Read Luke 2:1-20 | Matthew 1:21
I’ll be the first to admit that our kids’ names are a little different! Journey, Honor and Rocky aren’t names that you come across everyday. People ask me all of the time if there is any significance to our kids’ names. Well, the short answer to this question is yes!
As we read through the Bible, we see that names were very significant. Oftentimes a name was defining of a person’s character or a summary of that person’s life! Sometimes a person’s name was changed during their lifetime to signify a change in their purpose.
In the Old Testament we see God change Jacob’s name to Israel.
- Jacob means “Deceiver” | Israel means “Prince with God”
- This new name meant that he had a new purpose!
In the New Testament we see Jesus change Simon’s name to Peter.
- Simon means “He has heard” | Peter means “Rock”
- Again, this name change represents a change in purpose.
Because names were extremely important in Scripture, Joseph was given explicit directions by the angel as to what to name the special Child:
“She [Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
When the angel told Joseph to name the child Jesus, it wasn’t because it sounded cool or so that Mary had something to hollar out when dinner was ready… It described the purpose of the Son of God!
The name, “Jesus,” is a combination of the Hebrew Yahweh, or Jehovah and yasha’. The expression in modern Hebrew is Yeshua. The translation of the name is “The LORD is salvation.”
Sin entered the world through the pride and disobedience of Adam and Eve, and is a universal problem that has affected every single person who has ever walked the face of the earth. But the most important message is that God came to earth to bring us salvation!
The angel pointed out to Joseph that Jesus was God’s answer to sin. Salvation frees us to become everything God wants us to be! We rejoice in Jesus’ birth because it is the key to our release from everything that chains us down.
When I was growing up, there was a song we used to sing in church quite a bit. It goes like this…
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
There's just something about that Name.
Master, Savior, Jesus,
Like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Let all heaven and earth proclaim,
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there's something about that Name.
(Written by Jonathan Richman)
The angel announced to Joseph: “He will save his people from their sins.” That’s what Christmas is about and it’s what the whole life, death and most importantly resurrection of Jesus was all about.
My hope and prayer for us is that we turn our focus away from the craziness and “noise” of Christmas and celebrate the greatest gift ever given – Jesus Christ! That Christmas becomes CHRISTmas!