January 8, 2020
Pr. Paul Cannon
The Names of Jesus
Picking out names for your kids can be kind of hard; it’s a very personal decision. For both of our children, Kirstin and I didn’t have a set idea of what to call them right away, so much as parameters for choosing them. We didn’t want them to be anything too popular or trendy, we wanted them to connect with family and we wanted the names to have a positive meaning.
Our first was Isaac Farrel Cannon, and our second is Elin Joan Cannon. I’ve often thought about those names. Neither name is overly popular, and Farrel and Joan are family names (check, check!). As for meanings, Isaac means “he laughs” in Hebrew, and Elin is a Swedish name meaning “light”. For us, those names were more than just labels for our kids. They held hope for who they might become, while rooting them in memory of loved ones (past and present).
Names reveal things about who we are, which is why we’ll be talking about the names of Jesus during this season of Epiphany, as we reflect on who Jesus is after his birth.
Immanuel, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God … just to name a few. It’s fitting that we have so many different names for Jesus, because we are still trying to figure out exactly who Jesus was (and is).
To one he’s a savior. To another a rabbi. To another a brother. And to yet another … a friend. We have so many names for Jesus because he is all those things, when we need him to be.
So the question for you today is, what do you need Jesus to be? What name might you call out to him right now? Do you need a teacher? A counselor? Do you need peace and quiet in your life? Whatever it is, Jesus is there for you, revealing himself to be exactly what you need today.