Name Your Child a Swear Word? PDF Print E-mail


More than six hundred years before Jesus was born a prophet wrote about the birth of a Child. Now that in itself is something to think about: which of us could say that our birth was predicted six hundred years before it took place?


But, not only does the prophet tell us about the coming birth of a child, he also gives accurate details about his character and his nature. He reveals his character through four names. We know that names have meaning, the more a person is known to us the more meaning we attach to their name. In many instances we have names for people that are not proper names but yet they tell us about a great deal about the person. For instance, when you hear the name “The Great One” who do you think about and what do you associate with him? We are talking about Wayne Gretzky of course. Most people, probably his friends, call him Wayne. But “The Great Wayne” also tells us a great deal about one aspect of his life.


So this prophet, Isaiah, gives us four names for Jesus. Names that reveal something of his character, given hundreds of years before his birth. They are not proper names but they do tell us a great deal about his character ...


Wonderful Counselor – In Jesus we come to realize that he has all the answers to life’s questions. He is able to give guidance and direction to our lives. Mighty God – He is the powerful: He is protects, He rescues, He delivers us from situations in which we find ourselves powerless. Everlasting Father: He is like a father forever to us. He will never walk out of our life. He will always be Father-like in his relationship with us. Prince of Peace -- He is characterized by peace. He is able to bring about peace in our lives.



What about his nature? Getting it right on this makes sense of the names. He wrote: “unto us” -- that's you and me -- “a child is born”. We all get that. He was born just like us. He was flesh and blood just like you and me. He was human. But there is more: “unto us a Son is given.” A few favourite carols use similar language. Silent Night has a phrase: Son of God/ loves pure light. This baby was unlike any other baby because he was the Son of God. Another Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, reflects on this: Hail the Incarnate Deity. How can he be God with us? How can God and human flesh become one? That is both the mystery and the miracle of Jesus' birth. Immanuel -- God with Us – a child born and son given.


Recently millions of people flooded to the theatres to watch Avatar. Did you know that Avatar, from Hinduism, refers to “the manifestation of a deity in human, superhuman, or animal form.” Many of those movie goers were deeply moved. If we could embrace Cameron's Avatar, why then do we have trouble with God in human flesh? There was one true Avatar, God the Son, who in Jesus took our humanity to deal with sin and make things right. That is worth publicly talking about.


Last week our church had the privilege of opening our doors to the community through Bethlehem Walk. The church family gets as much enjoyment from these four days as anyone of the guest who comes through the fields and the village. Sometimes people ask us, “Why do you go to all this trouble each year?” Here it is in a nutshell: one of the most important questions each person needs to answer is: “who is Jesus? Why is this important? Something that happened two years back at the manger scene summarizes why. An important part of Bethlehem Walk is the manger scene described in the Bible. After Joseph and Mary had told about how they came to be the parents of Jesus they said something to the effect that "and we have been told to call his name Jesus." A little boy looked up to the man he was with and asked innocently, "Why would anyone name their baby a swear word! It matters that we get it right about the baby who is the center of Christmas.


Merry Christmas,

Paul Hawkes


PS – By the way we thought you might like to know, not only did you donate hundreds of pounds of food for the Salvation Army, but every single penny that is collected from visitors is given to Salvation Army to meet the needs of those in our community who are struggling. This year is was just under $14,400. Thank you for your generous gift.


There was one true Avatar, God the Son, who in Jesus took our humanity to deal with sin and make things right.