Worldwide, over 360,000 children are born each day. Each child receives a name, but not a definite destiny. Will he or she become a wise man or a fool, have riches or know only poverty? Will he or she live with the graces of mental and physical health or live unsteadily in a weakened frame? On Christmas day we honor the child who came with a God appointed destiny and name.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace…” (Is. 9:6) We find all the characteristics of these names summed up in one: Jesus, which means Jehovah is salvation.
The prophet Isaiah says wondrous things about this child who grew up and became a man of sorrows stumbling to Calvary. He laid all privilege and honor and authority aside to become as one of us, to suffer, cry, and die. With grace and dignity he told us to come, believe, and call on his name. “…for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Today, as most of us celebrate Christ’s birth, let us think about his name, the one which Paul spoke of in Acts after the lame man leapt like a deer – “…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you well.” (Acts 4:10)
Let those of you suffering with symptoms of schizophrenia and depression fathoms deep think upon his name, call upon his name, and fall in love with his name.
In the Greek you would find his name written Iesous, and in later medieval English, Jesu. At the time the poem “JESU” was written in the 1600s, I and J were interchangeable. The author George Herbert used the letter exchange in his poem:
J E S U is in my heart, his sacred name
Is deeply carved there; but th’other week
A great affliction broke the little frame,
Ev’n all to pieces: which I went to seek:
And first I found the corner, where was J
After, where E S, and next where U was graved.
When I had got these parcels, instantly
I sat me down to spell them, and perceived
That to my broken heart he was I ease you,
And to my whole is J E S U.
To you whose frame of mind, body, or soul appears broken, hide in Christ and call on his name. Unto you was born, this day, a Savior. Immanuel: Im manu el, interpreted “with us God is.”