On Mother’s Day I got the most wonderful gift; my oldest son and his wife shared with us that they are expecting a baby! Our first grandbaby!! We are excited beyond words about becoming grandparents. Seriously, if we had tails we would be wagging them like a puppy waiting for a treat! Can’t wait to welcome the newest member into this crazy family! (Bless his or her little heart!)
As you can imagine, with this wonderful news came many discussions of all things baby! Ok, maybe it was just me who went into overdrive with questions, but one of the questions we all wanted to know was, what are you going to name the baby? For that matter, and maybe more importantly, what will the baby call us? What will our “grandparent” names be? Let’s be clear from the start, I staunchly refuse to be called Granny or Grandmother. It is certainly not that I mind that I am going to be a grandmother (see the first paragraph), but those names just do not work for me. Maybe we will go with something like Nana, or GiGi, or MiMi, or anything fun and repetitive so the baby can say it soon… and often! It’s a work in progress.
All of this talking about names has me thinking about the fact that the names we use for people demonstrate the relationship that we have with them. Let me explain what I mean.
On any given day I can hear any of these names:
And the list goes on. (I am sure there are other names that people use for me, but that is another blog entirely!) The point is this, the name that someone uses for me directly shows the relationship that they have with me. My colleagues call me Mrs. Burnette, while my friends call me Ashleigh, and my husband calls me Ash. My kids call me momma, my kid’s friends call me Momma B and my students call me Ms. B. And my daddy, for my entire life and for as long as I live, calls me Baby Ash.
Names. They demonstrate relationship.
Maybe this is why there are so many names for Jesus.
Maybe all the names we have for him show our desperate need for relationship with him; and more importantly his innate and perfect ability to fulfill every relationship need that we have.
Jesus, the name above all names!
Yet, he is so much more than one name can define. In all of his majesty and glory we have had to apply numerous names to his holiness, just to edify ALL that he is.
His disciples called him Mari, which is an Aramaic term developed to demonstrate the relationship that Jesus had with his followers. Mari translates to more than just teacher, more than just Rabbi; deeper, closer, truer…Mari.
To us he is:
Lord and Savior.
Prince of Peace
Son of God
Lion of Judah
Lamb of God
Light of the World
The Alpha and The Omega
Jehovah Jirah – our sacrifice
Jehovah Rapha – our healer
Jehovah Shammah – our present Lord
Jehovah Shalom – our Prince of Peace
Jehovah Nissi- our banner, our power
Jehovah Raah – our Shepherd
And one of my personal favorites, Friend.
What relationship do you need today?
Do you need a healer?
Do you need a light in the darkness?
A banner to go before you, or a strong tower to run into?
Do you need a lion to roar of his love for you, or a sacrificial lamb to show you how precious and valuable you are?
Do you need the assurance of the one that has been there from the beginning and who firmly holds the end of the story in his nail scared hands?
Do you need one that will be closer than a brother, closer than the truest friend?
There is not a relationship that we need, not a single one, that cannot be defined and delivered through the precious, powerful, and perfect name of Jesus.
As I await the birth of our first grandchild, I anticipate the day that they will look at me, and with knowledge of who I am, call my name. I believe that Jesus stands in the throne room of heaven, listening intently; just waiting for his children to recognize him for who he is, for all that he is, for all he wants to be in our lives and to simply call his name.
His beautiful, wonderful, powerful name.