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His Name

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Incarnation & His Name - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

God desired to prepare the world to welcome the event of the nativity of the Lord Christ. He prepared the world by several means. He used various people that symbolize the coming of Christ such as Joseph the righteous and the event where Moses saw the burning bush. He also prepared the world and its people, especially the Jews, so that they would welcome the birth of Christ through the prophecies, as we read in the book of Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” This verse is in the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah the prophet. It was said in a period of more than 7 centuries before the birth of Christ.

“Will be called” The name of the Lord is the only name for our salvation. We read in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” In the tradition of the church we find a prayer called the ‘prayer of Jesus’, or sometimes we call it ‘the short prayer’ or typically ‘the Jesus prayer’ as we mention the name of Jesus in it. In our Church we pray the Psali and in it we mention the name of our Lord Christ a lot. We say for example: “the mention of Your holy name, gives joy to our souls”, because through His name we attain joy and happiness. We say in the Jesus prayer: “My Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner”. This prayer is likened to an arrow, the head of the arrow is the name of our Lord Jesus.

The Jews used to love the number 5. This number symbolises power. Isaiah the prophet describes the name of Christ through 5 titles; Wondrous, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace). These five titles create a form of power. Let us contemplate on every title from this wonderful prophecy that prepares us for the coming of the Lord Christ:

Wondrous: His name is wondrous as He performs wonders. His name is wondrous in the soul’s repentance. His name is wondrous by giving joy to every soul. David the prophet says: “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psa 8).

The importance of this wondrous name is that it united the divinity with the humanity, the Lord is with us. This my brethren is the excellence of Christianity as God did not talk to us from far away and did not save us from far away, but He was amongst us; and that is how we came closer to Him. Saint Gregory says well: “We learn that there is only one name that is wondrous, one name that reveals what is in the heart in a wondrous way.” Here he is referring to the name of Christ.

Counsellor: As He is the owner of advice and opinions, He does not need to seek advice from anyone as He is the one that’s gives advices. We can say that He is a wondrous counsellor. When the church advices us to read the gospel on a regular basis, this is because the information we find in the bible are the best piece of advices we need in our everyday life. Therefore my beloved use your Bible as your advisor and not anyone else. Whenever you read it daily you will find God sending you His advice for your life. Then you will be seen as a living gospel, where all true knowledge and wisdom come from.

Mighty God: Mighty as in powerful, and no one has ever received this title other than God Himself. St. Peter says: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2Peter 1:3) Mighty God, performer of miracles and teacher of man. He is mighty having the ability to do anything, as we say in Passion Week: “To You is the power and glory.” God is powerful and glorious regardless of the crucifixion.

Everlasting Father: The word father is a really nice word that we say especially when we call up to God as in “Our Father who art in heaven….” This title is not just for a day or two but it is a title that we will keep using forever, as He is our heavenly Father in truth. Satan usually fights us by trying to convince us that God has turned His face from us because of our sins. But we must always remember that our God is an everlasting father, and that He is watching over our lives. God hates the sin, but at the same time He loves us the sinners.

Prince of Peace: The word Prince here means the source of peace, as we say in the hymn: “O King of peace grant us Your peace”. There is no source of peace other than from Christ Himself. He is the Prince of peace, as He said: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” (Jn 14:27). There is no peace anywhere except through the Lord Jesus Christ. The only thing that prevents man from living in peace is sin.

Therefore my brethren, if we put these five titles in front of us, we will then feel the blessings of the coming of Christ and His incarnation for our sake.