These people we have been studying represent the insecure ones in the family, the unworthy ones in the family, the misplaced ones in the family line of Jesus. And yet they were chosen by God as part of the Royal Tapestry woven to bring about the Glorious Savior, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Each of those adjectives—insecure, unworthy, and misplaced– I have felt myself at one time or another, and I would guess many of you could say the same. Yet, we are chosen by God to glorify the Son through our own royal tapestry.
I wish we had time to study some of the other names in the family lineage of Jesus. Some of the names represent other things to which we could relate. Some of the names I can’t even pronounce!
Family names are a funny thing. When I joined the Berry family 22 years ago, I had quite a time conquering all of the strange family names. My sweet mother-in-law is named Jimmie. They thought she was going to be a boy and they were going to name him James Arnette. So when she surprised them with her girlhood, they stuck to the plan and named her Jimmie Arnetta. Her sisters are Shug, and Toodlum. Her first cousins are Punk, Sheck, and Kink. I am not kidding you.
Yes, names are a funny thing. But we are in the family of God and there is one name that is the most beautiful, most powerful of all. That is the name of Jesus. Lately, God has been pressing on my heart constantly the beauty and power of that precious Name. The One that was prophesied hundreds of years before that silent night in the manger has fulfilled every meaning of every one of His names.
I witness to the fact that He IS Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I love how the above prophesy of the Coming Savior is worded in the translation of the Bible called The Message:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! sunbursts of light! … For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world (our world!). His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
That is my Savior, my Jesus. That is the lover of my soul, and yours. That is the one we celebrate at Christmas. Let’s don’t miss it this year. Let’s don’t let the urgent things swallow up the important things. Let’s remember that one day, at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Let’s be the first to bow down and worship, the first to confess that He is our Lord.
Well, Charlie is into names, just like Sally was. He is learning all of our family names, names of objects, and common expressions. I love to hear him say “Mama” and “Daddy” and all of his siblings’ names. Yesterday, we had a birthday for Jesus for 25 toddlers. Much fun and chaos! Charlie was a little confused when he met our new neighbor who is a little boy from China named…Charlie! Two Chinese Charlies in the same neighborhood! Yesterday, we were looking at a snow globe with a manger scene tucked safely inside. Sally and I were talking about the beautiful Reason for the Season. Charlie was listening and watching as we discussed all the different characters of the best story of all time. There was a pause in our happy chatter when I saw Charlie’s lips move and his sweet little voice whisper what he had just heard. The word he whispered? Jesus. That name above all names. That name that one day he will confess as Lord and Savior. I will treasure that sweet first whisper for as long as I live.
Wow! I love reading back to see how I felt, what I was learning, a few years ago. Alot has changed. Our family has added two sons-in-laws, whom we adore. We have sent two more kids off to college. Our older ones have now begun to make a life of their own. We are busy raising the three kids, still at home. My plate is full, but my heart is fuller. Sometimes I feel that I can’t “get out there” and do as much hands-on ministry as I would like to. Recently, I was driving down the road taking the kids somewhere and I thought, “When the kids are older, I am really gonna get involved in more ministry.” I began to think of all the “ministry” I wanted to do. And suddenly, a very clear thought popped in my head, which I believe was from the Lord. And it was this: “You have a big ministry right now, and that ministry is to your children. I have called you to them so that they can feel my love and know my truth.” Right after that, I was talking to a dear friend was casually said these words to me, “I have learned that God has purpose in the present—every moment of the present.” Your purpose is not in the future. Your purpose is right now. So, “get out there” if you are able. Do something for someone else, including all the ones within easy reach, for that, too, is ministry.