Monday, January 2, 2012

Naming Day!

Today would, by tradition of the Church celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas, be Christ's naming day, or Bris/Berit Mila.  When a parent gives a child a name, the parent is giving the child a connection to previous generations.  As we see in Matthew, Chapter 1, Jesus comes from a long line of notable people in history.  The Bris, Berit Mila must take place for an infant boy at eight days of age. If this is performed before the child is eight days old, it is not considered valid. The reasoning behind waiting for eight days is that everything was created in seven days. When a child is eight days old, the child has surpassed the physical world and entered a world far more spiritual. Mila is a sacred religious rite and not merely a hygienic practice. The Jewish parents accept this as a normal part of life.

"Jesus" is a transliteration, occurring in a number of languages and based on the Latin Iesus, of the Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iēsoûs), itself a hellenization of the Hebrew יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yĕhōšuă‘, Yeshua) or Hebrew-Aramaic יֵשׁוּעַ (Yēšûă‘), both meaning God delivers or God rescues.

Names are important in the Bible, both when self-taken (the change from Saul (meaning responded or prayed for) to Paul (meaning small or humbled)), and when changed by God (Abram (biblical patriarch) to Abraham (father of multitudes); Sarai (my princess) to Sarah (princess)).  At this start of this New Year, think about what your name means - and what you want it to stand for.  How would *you* like to be known in history?

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