What’s in a Name?

November 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Worship

By Hally Franz –

The name “Sandy” reminds me of a perky, smiling blond from the 1970’s – hardly the image of a devastating and destructive storm that recently ravaged the Eastern U.S. coast. I did a few minutes of research and learned the following about hurricane names.

Hurricane names for both the Atlantic and Pacific are selected several years prior to the current season. Atlantic hurricanes were given names starting in the 1950’s, those on the Pacific starting during the 1960’s. A committee at the World Meteorological Organization decides the names to be used. I found 21 listed for each year, one for each letter of the alphabet with the exceptions of letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. The list is rotated every six years, and names are reused, unless a storm has been especially horrific. In that case, the name is retired and replaced in the rotation.

Naming children, like naming storms, is not random. Parents-to-be often spend months pondering name choices for their children. Questions are asked. “What impression does the name leave?” “Who else shares this name?” “Will there be five of them in his class?” My husband and I tried to choose names that were easy to pronounce and spell, but unique and meaningful by definition or within our family.

We see examples of this in the Bible. Names are often connected with specific meanings. In Genesis, twins Esau and Jacob are named, respectively, based on physical appearance and position at birth.

So, when the Savior is born, certainly His name would not be left to chance.

Matthew tells us that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel told Joseph to name Mary’s son “Jesus,” meaning “the Lord saves.” Isaiah prophesied in the Old Testament that a virgin would give birth to a son, who would be called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”

His name was more than mere months in the making; it was the whole of time prior to His birth. It’s a name meant to send a message for generations to come and one associated with kindness and wisdom, selflessness and teaching, miracles and salvation. And, while others may share the name, none are confused about who we mean when we talk about King of Kings.
As we enter the Christmas season, let’s remember His name and celebrate His birth above all!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, be with those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Encourage and restore them through their time of loss and despair. May they find comfort at this holiday season, remembering the promises of His name.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:21-23 KJV).

About Hally Franz

Hally Franz writes about her observations on family and faith, parenting and people. She is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. Hally and husband Tim will celebrate twenty years of marriage this year, and have two teens. She is a 4-H leader and band mom, serves as her church secretary and as a Bible class teacher. Hally enjoys traveling with her family and participating in monthly book club meetings with her pals.
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