Posted by Glenn Packiam on 14 December 2017

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 (CEB)

One of the most awesome and powerful responsibilities of parents is the naming of their children. What a privilege! A child’s personality, gifts, talents, achievements, relationships and more will come to be bound up with his or her name. In fact, names become a sort of “shorthand” for all the things that make us who we are.

Who gets to name God?

The first person in the Bible who names God—who gives Him a particular name, not just the generic reference as ‘god’—is a female, Egyptian slave named Hagar. On the run and in great distress, God shows her mercy and provides for her. And as a result she sees the God who has seen her. So she names Him: the God who sees.

Centuries later, another woman displaced from her household is on the move. But she is not an exile. She is a pilgrim and she is with her husband. She, like Hagar, is with her child, though hers is yet unborn. She too gets to name God. But for her, she is naming God and naming her child. Mystery of mysteries; how can this be?

And so it was that an angel helped Joseph and Mary with the name for this child. Drawing from the old words of Isaiah the prophet, the angel said to them, “His name shall be called…”

Emmanuel.

God with us.

That is His name. And that is who He is. 

Jesus has come as God with us. God in the midst of our pain and our sorrow, in the midst of our uncertainty about tomorrow. God in the midst of our joy and our tears, God who is with us here.

This is a name we can take refuge in, a strong tower we can run to and be safe. God is not afar off. He is not angry, distant or aloof. God has come to be with you. How do we know? Because this is how He is called; it is His name—God with us, Emmanuel.

So, yes: We adore His name.

Let the nations sing it louder.

Check out the "Your Name" song page here! 

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