} stickyFooter(); $(window).resize(function(){ stickyFooter(); }); });

The names of Jesus

Dec 9, 2020

In many cultures, the names that are given to children carry particular meaning. For instance, the name ‘Hannah’ comes from the Hebrew word for grace, or the name ‘Sophia’ from the Greek word for wisdom. Often, the names given express something of the hopes of the parents for that child. At Christmas, as we remember the birth of a child, we can ponder the meaning of his names.

We know all about the names Jesus (from ‘Joshua’, meaning God saves) and Emmanuel (meaning God with us). However, long before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah spoke about other names for this child. He said, ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (Is 9:6).

At Christmas, as we remember the birth of a child, we can ponder the meaning of his names.

Over 700 years before the first Christmas, Isaiah told us who this child is and what he would do.

Isaiah was speaking in dark and distressing times. God’s people were soon to be conquered and taken captive into exile. However, Isaiah offered hope saying , ‘on those living in the land of deep darkness  a light has dawned’ (Is 9:2). Hope would come through this child.

We live in a different time, but we need the same hope. Maybe at the moment you’re despondent about your situation. Maybe it’s the social distancing or no overseas holidays. Maybe it’s loneliness or the lost income. Maybe it’s relational troubles or moral failures. Whatever it is that’s getting you down, pondering the names of Jesus is a potent remedy during our gloomy times. Jesus provides us a hope that points beyond our circumstances; a hope that cannot fail and will never disappoint.

As we approach Christmas over the next few online services, we’re going to think more deeply on three of those names from Isaiah: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. We want to celebrate this child, the one who brings light into our darkness.

Alex McCoy
Vicar

Latest stories

Joanne’s Story

Joanne’s Story

My story isn't very exciting or something you will find in a book, but it's the steps I've taken and the choices I've made to become a Christian. I was born in Hong Kong; soon after I turned 3, my parents left to live an immigrant life in a small town in Northern...

read more
Why does it matter?

Why does it matter?

Christians disagree with each other all the time. Sometimes these disagreements are over small things. Sometimes they’re over significant issues. Recently, five bishops in the Church of England have approved the blessing of same-sex marriage in their dioceses against...

read more
Fearfully and wonderfully made

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Our younger daughter is an obstetrician and is full of stories about exciting deliveries, crying newborns, and anxious parents. As humans, we have our ideals and expectations. New parents expect an uneventful nine months of pregnancy, a smooth and quick delivery, then...

read more

Weekly Email
If you would like to learn more about what’s happening in our community, receive stories, scripture reading, prayer points and catch up on previous sermons, click to subscribe.