More Than a Name
December 14- Isaiah 7:10-16
v.14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Names matter. Words spoken in judgment or in love become that much stronger when attached to your name. The reputation of a family name can even precede you, for good or for ill. Somewhere along the way, I picked up the advice to exercise caution in using my sons' names when correcting their behavior. Too easily can one's name become a trigger for shame. This is easier said than done, of course.
When the Lord gave King Ahaz a sign, he gave him a name: Immanuel - "God with us." Like many prophecies, this sign had both a near and a far-off fulfillment. A child to be born would be a sign to King Ahaz that God is with him in the face of enemies at the gates of Jerusalem. The day would also come when a holy child born in Bethlehem would bear the name Immanuel.
"Where are you? I AM here. In name, word, and deed.”
Immanuel, thank you for being a God who is present and not far-off. Help us to be mindful of your abiding presence through your Holy Spirit. Amen.