What’s in a name? Mine, alas, means honey sweetness, and I can’t abide honey. If only I’d been called Marmite…
Jesus had many names. These are significant as we celebrate Christmas. “Mighty God.” What a paradox that the Mighty God who created the heavens and the earth should choose, as the divine, to enter the world of human beings – as a baby. A baby who is far from mighty. Helpless. Dependent. Why would God do that? By living as a human, God identified with us and experienced our joys and sorrows, smiles and tears and, above all, our suffering – though his suffering was worse than anything we can ever experience. Why would he do that? Because another of his names was “Saviour.” “Jesus” means the one who saves.
From the beginning of time God chose to be in relationship with human beings. He created a world for them to enjoy, to live in, to work in, and in which to bring delight to each other and to him. But humans messed up and the relationship between God the divine and mortal men and women, was spoilt. After centuries of pleadings from the Almighty for people to return to him, he eventually intervened in a history-changing moment: the time when heaven met earth, when BC became AD. This is what Christmas is all about. The baby in the manger was the start of Jesus’ life on earth that would culminate in the cross and the resurrection. God opened the door to restoration between him and us. Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the promised Messiah, came.
If you celebrate Xmas, you miss out on the name that is above all names: the Christ of Christmas. May you have a truly joy-filled, Christ-centred Christmas.
PS There’s a new Christmas poem on the Poems page.