Advent 2014 – 17 days ’til Christmas


‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
—excerpt from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Not Scripture, I know, but part of this quote is probably more well known by many than quotes from the Bible:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

What’s in a name, indeed. I am variously known as ‘Mum’, ‘Nanna’, ‘Aunty’ and ‘Mrs P’ (by my students). Depending on the circumstance, anyone hearing any of these names with reference to me would be able to learn something about me.

For example, ‘Mum’ would indicate that I have children, and one would be able to ascertain that I have at least one sibling if I am referred to as ‘Aunty’.

These days given names really do not indicate any particular characteristic about a person. Names can have meanings, but the meaning does not necessarily describe the person. Often parents chose a name for their child simply because they like that name.

Not so for the babe of Bethlehem. His name was given for a specific purpose. His name had a particular meaning that described the main purpose of his incarnation: Jesus – God saves/Saviour.

Both Mary and Joseph were told by the angel the baby’s name was to be ‘Jesus’:

…you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 1:31

…and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Unlike the names Montague and Capulet, there is much in the name ‘Jesus’. His name means saviour and he is the Saviour of the world. He is the one who would die in the place of sinners so they can be reconciled to God through the forgiveness of their sins.


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I am a Christian and my purpose in life is to give honour to the Lord Jesus Christ in all I do and say.

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