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.
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.