Reflection: Picking out baby names for our daughters was no easy task. As we scoured books and websites for girl names, the first thing Richie and I considered was the meaning. We believed (and still do) that these names would give shape and influence upon each of our daughters’ lives. We kept their names hidden until the day of their birth because we wanted to introduce these beauties to the world with a bold proclamation of the meaning behind their names.
The same is true in the Jewish tradition. The meaning behind one’s name is an identity marker of the newborn. Historically, many tended to wait eight days until revealing the name of the baby due to the high mortality rates of infants. More recently, however, Jewish families have kept the tradition to avoid family drama and allow more time for a name to be chosen.
Mary and Joseph weren’t given the traditional choice of choosing a name for their son: An angel did that for them! I wonder how Mary and Joseph felt about this name – trepidation, anxiety, excitement, joy? I imagine they felt a little bit of everything a new parent feels when a baby is on the way. I also imagine they were willing to do everything within their power as parents to help their child live into the fullness of his name: Yeshua, God is my Salvation.
Prayer: Name above all Names, you knew each of our names before they were chosen. Show us how we might live into the meaning of our own names this Advent season. In the name of the Christ-child, Amen.
Jennifer Weitzel, Interim Director of Christian Education
What is the meaning of your name?
How are you living into the meaning of your name this Advent season?