Here in Ghana, children are given names because of their meaning. There are special names for the firstborn, for a child born after a miscarriage, or stillbirth, or to tell others that this child is a gift from God. The name might reflect the hopes and dreams the parents have for the child. A child can be named after someone special in the parents' lives.Children are named after popes and other historical figures.
This being the Christmas season of the Liturgical Calendar, I can't help but think of the children who have been named Emmanuel. Emmanuel is a common name here, Emma (long "e" sound, short "a" sound) is used as a nickname. Emmanuel...God with us. Hmmm.... How does it feel to have that name? I don't think people are saying that their child is a god. It is more like, "God has blessed us, He is with us in giving us this child."
Imagine having the name Immanuel. It is a constant reminder of God being here on earth with us. He is here in our comings and in our goings. He is here with us as we are awake and as we sleep. He is with us when things go wrong and when things go the way they are supposed to go. He is with us in our health and in our sickness. He is with us in our work and in our play. He is with us in our celebrations and in our grieving. And, do you know what? He cares. He cares about these things. He cares about what makes us happy or sad or energized. He cares about us when we rejoice and when we weep. He cares about our creativity and He cares when we have "mental block."
What other god is like that? Our God is personal and wants to be involved in our lives. He wants so much to be more than an observer in our lives, He wants to be an active participant. All we have to do is invite Him. Are you willing to invite Immanuel, God with Us, into your life? Won't you ask Him today?
Follower of Christ, Cross Cultural Worker, presently serving Christ in the Lawra area of the Upper West Region of Ghana.