December 8 Message From Pastor Karen – “A Blessed Advent to you OCC!”

How important are names? When Pastor Nick and I were preparing for our boys to be born we talked for hours about their names.

It was one of the most enjoyable parts about planning for their arrival. We picked out names for girls, names for boys. We considered what their initials would be. As you may know, Pastor Nick has three brothers and I like all of their names. So we had (mostly) playful arguments about whether or not we could use their names for our son’s names.

We know that Jesus’ name is significant and most of you know that it means “The Lord Saves.” But consider Joseph’s name for a moment. The Joseph, “adopted” father of Jesus, reminds us of the son of Jacob named Joseph in the Genesis story who was betrayed by his brothers, sold in to slavery. He was so winsome, however, that he eventually rose through the hierarchy of the Egyptian power grid and became second in command after Pharoah. He saved Egypt during the famine and when his brothers came starving to beg of him, he did not hold their sins against them, but instead offered them not only food but also his hand in brotherhood – restoration. Joseph, Jacob’s son, leans towards grace.

Similarly, the Joseph of the gospels bears similar characteristics. He leans into his faith and into grace as he accepts the child born conceived of the Holy Spirit and born to his virgin wife (cf.Mt. 1:24-25). He does not abandon her. He does not abandon the child God has called him to raise. Indeed, he proclaims Jesus as his own when he follows the angel’s instructions and gives him the name Jesus. The act of naming the child makes him Joseph’s son.

Learning a name helps the people of God understand that we belong to one another. I have gotten lax at wearing a name tag on Sundays. Perhaps you have too? We have had some new guests at church recently and we also have a new family joining us. Let us continue to stretch ourselves to learn each other’s names.
It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry, I’m still working on your name.”

Also, taking a message from the Josephs, where might God be calling you to lean into grace-filled faith this season? Do you have a relative who rubs you the wrong way? Is a co-worker’s competitive attitude driving you up a wall? Whatever it is, bring it to the Lord and ask for his grace to fill you.

Grateful for you all!!  May you rest in God’s goodness this week.

Pastor Karen

Leave a Reply


Join with us each Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
95 Berkshire Street, Indian Orchard, MA 01151 (Map)

You Are Welcome Here!

Call us:


© 2022 Orchard Covenant Church | Built By Gulf Horizons Web Design

Find us: