It’s fascinating to think about the origin of people’s names.  When a baby is coming into the world, the parents spend a lot of time figuring out what to name the baby. Sometimes they know the name will come from a relative or someone they admire. Other times they pour over baby books looking for the perfect name, looking for something unique and special. It’s not easy because their child will live with their choice for a long time.

In history, some names helped identify where a person lived, or what a person did for a living. In scripture, we see that God liked to choose names too. He sent angels to the parents of John the Baptist and Jesus, defining their names and their life purpose. He sent prophets to declare the name of the One who would come in the future, as He did with Isaiah. God even revised a name as when He changed Abram to Abraham. It appears that a person’s name is significant.

As we get closer to Christmas, we might reflect on some of the names of Jesus. Isaiah 9 calls Him, “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.” The New Testament gives Jesus names like “Lamb of God, Light of the World, Messiah, and Name above all Names.” Imagine having the name above all names! The meaning of the name Jesus is “God is salvation.” He came into the world to redeem His people, and He was also called Immanuel, which means God with us. 

When I looked up my family’s surname of Moore, I didn’t find anything quite so glorious. The Middle English definition means “area of uncultivated land.” Hmm! Not so fancy, really.  The Irish definition is somewhat better framing the name around a Gaelic descendent meaning “great chief or proud and mighty. We gladly claim Thomas Moore who was an Irish poet, songwriter and entertainer. My dad liked to write poetry and so do I, so maybe there’s a connection in all this. Of course, Sir Thomas More, the former Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, must surely belong on our family tree.

Whatever my name means, or yours, we will never have the multitude of stunning names given to us that lead people to salvation. That name belongs to only One, and as you reflect on all that Christmas means to you this year, give some thought to the astounding treasure wrapped in the name of this one baby when He came into the world. His name will take yours and hold on to it throughout eternity.

This Christmas, bless His Holy Name!