"You Shall Call His Name Jesus"

Theme: There is salvation in the name of Jesus.  4th Sunday of Advent (4B)
Object: A book on the meaning of names.
Scripture: You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. Luke 1:31

One of the most exciting times in any couple's life is when they find out that they are going to have a baby. There are many things that must be done to prepare for the birth of a new baby, but none is more important than choosing a name for the baby. A baby's name is chosen very carefully because the baby will live with that name for the rest of his or her life.

When a couple is choosing a name for their baby, they will sometimes go to a bookstore or a library and get a book like this one that I have this morning. It has thousands of names from which to choose. Not only that, but many names have a special meaning and a book like this will tell you what those names mean. I looked up a few popular names to see what they mean. (Note: These names are given as an example. Choose names that are popular in your area, or if time permits, look up the names of some of the children in your group.)

John - God gave
Mary - the perfect one
Caleb - faithful, bold
Alex or Alexis - helper
Michael or Michaela - one who is like God
Elizabeth - God's promise
Daniel or Danielle - God is my judge

When Mary and Joseph found out that they were going to have a baby, they didn't go to the bookstore and get a book to help them choose a name for Mary's baby. In fact, they didn't choose the baby's name at all! God chose it for them! God sent an angel to tell Mary what to name her baby. The angel said to Mary, "You will have a son, and you will call his name Jesus" You see, the name Jesus means "the Lord saves." Was it important for Mary's baby to be named Jesus? Yes it was, because the Bible tells us that there is no other name that can save us from our sin. (Acts 4:12)

Dear Father, thank you for sending your Son. During this season when we celebrate his birth, help us to remember that there is salvation in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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