Advent 18

In the middle of all these Advent stories about naming remarkable babies (Jesus and John), here’s a poem that has had me thinking lately about the importance of naming:

How badly the world needs words.

Don’t be fooled

By how green it is,

How it seems to be thriving.


“Willow” rescues that tree

From its radiant perishing.


How much more so then

When you name the beloved.

–Gregory Orr

So many echoes in that:

  • God calling creation into existence by speaking and naming.
  • Jesus asking, “Who do you say that I am?” And simply by confession and naming him the Christ, we declare him the beloved.
  • “I know my sheep and my sheep know me…” Jesus calling us by name.
  • That in God’s very naming of us, salvation from perishing begins because we are loved enough to be known and named.
  • The Word made flesh…

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