What’s In A Name?


A child cannot remain nameless for long. There are rules to follow–birth certificates to fill out. Social security forms to apply for.

Michael and Courtney had a trio of names picked out for their son when he was born.

Deciding which one and which order was a challenge.

The little guy had no opinion. No way to voice it even if he did.

It came down to Mom and Dad knowing who they knew him to be.

Beck Sullivan Wickberg.

A name makes you someone. The chance to be known and valued.

Bringing little Beck home identified him in another way. His home was also the home of two canine family members.

Wally and Foster did not know him yet.

They didn’t seem to care what his name was. This baby was an oddity in their home. A newcomer they didn’t know quite what to do with.

Someone who took attention from them.

The two dogs were frantic with joy at seeing their people return. I’d been staying with them, and though I was a friend, I wasn’t theirs. Yelps, leaps, and loving laps all around as Courtney and Michael walked through the door.

Then they realized their people weren’t alone.

Both dogs have been remarkably gentle with Beck. Getting to know him means being comfortable with their form of discovery. Licking his head. Sniffing him anytime he’s close enough. Touching him with their noses.

It’s not how I’m getting to know Beck. Holding him, cuddling him, talking to him, changing him. He’s learning to recognize my voice, which isn’t the same as his parents.

Chances are he’ll forget my voice in a week when I’m gone. Relationships that don’t have continued interaction aren’t sustainable. The more interaction I have with him, the more familiar and comfortable he’ll be with me.

When Jesus came into the world, Mary and Joseph knew exactly who He was. The Messiah, sent from God, the fulfillment of His promise made long ago. They named him Jesus–Yeshua–which means “Deliverer, Rescuer”. A name told them by the angel who’d visited them individually months before.

They didn’t question who this Child was or what He would do.

The shepherds came to know Him by a heavenly proclamation, being told by more angels that God’s Son had been born. They rushed to see Him. They accepted what many would struggle with–this Child born in a cave was the Son of God Almighty.

Many today give lip service to Jesus. Christmas is a celebration of His birth, the point in time where God entered our world in the form of Man. There is familiarity with the Baby in the manger.

Lip service doesn’t make for a relationship. Many don’t recognize Jesus for what He ultimately did. Why He really came.

It wasn’t to stay in a manger.

People come to Him in different ways. Through different stories. Finding Him, Messiah, as our personal Deliverer, is the greatest relationship we could have.

One day His name will be recognized by all. But all won’t know Him.

He speaks to us today–through the Bible and those who know Him.

How will you respond to His voice?






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