Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent Devotional #16

Today's devotion from Goshen College:

DEC. 15 - NAME HIM JESUS


By Bethany Swope, church relations coordinator



THIS WEEK'S THEME: Name him Jesus
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

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DEVOTIONAL:
Between bites of a glazed donut, my nephew recently asked what I would name a baby boy. He likes the name David. I don’t know why he asked the question, but I do know that names matter to us. I’ve always disliked being called "Beth." It's Bethany. My parents chose it to be my name, despite my sister's request for "Stephie."

In The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros' character Esperanza, "hope" in Spanish, reflects on her name -- what it means, why her parents chose it and names she would prefer, including "Zeze the X." She explains how English speakers and Spanish speakers say her name differently: "At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver."

When I was a Goshen College student on ( http://www.goshen.edu/sst )Study-Service Term (the college's three-month study abroad program), I wrote in my journal about how my hosts in Cote d'Ivoire said my name:
"bay-tah-nee." The difference symbolized the shift in identity I felt in a culture far from home.

I wonder if Jesus felt far from home as he walked the earth. I wonder if he heard different meanings in the way people spoke his name. Did they see him as a prophet? A heretic? A regular guy? The Messiah?

Still, he let his face shine. He let his name shine:
Jesus, "the Lord saves." A name of esperanza. May it shine on us, this season and always.




View all of this season's devotions at http://www.goshen.edu/devotions

Goshen College
http://www.goshen.edu

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