And God roared and crooned and whispered His name, all of them at once.
He formed sounds and strung letters to make words wide enough and high enough and deep enough and long enough that to simply speak them brings Him unspeakable glory. Still, each is simple enough for even the smallest among us to wrap tiny hands around Him.
God breathed for Himself over 200 names. He exploded into our world as Immanuel, gasping for His first breaths of earthly air as He fought His way out of a poor girl’s womb. But even as He clothed Himself with that name, God with us shed all His rightful titles as though dropping a cloak to the ground.
For to be God with us He became nobody.
He walked away from all to which those 200-plus names entitled Him and enveloped Himself with every conceivable human limitation.
And He was for eight days a nobody.
Not even a name to be called.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. (Luke 2:21)
The Son of Man was constrained by the very law He came to fulfill. And in walking among us He did not hover over us. He became one of us. Already righteous, already holy, already God, He submitted to those same practices that He, one with the Father, designed to set His people apart.
That law required that He be circumcised and named on the eighth day. As though it were not enough that the God of the universe subjected Himself to nine months confined in the belly of a near-child, He humbled Himself further; He allowed Himself to be nobody and waited for His name.
Nameless, unnoticed (save for a few ragtag shepherds), an insignificant babe.
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:6-7)
He who would ultimately bear the name above every name relinquished every other name to participate with us in our broken and exposed humanity.
For the sake of His Father’s glory and our redemption He was for eight days a nobody.
From the archives, as we try to hold just a little more Christmas.