What's in a name?

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Five children in sunglasses on grass

What's in a name?!

As the whole world now knows, the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was born on 23rd April. The news of his safe arrival into the world was followed by much speculation within the media as to what his parents would call him. Naming a newly born child is a task that all parents have to face, although not usually under the scrutiny of the world's press.

As rumours abounded, you could even place a bet on the outcome and at one stage the bookies were telling us that Arthur was joint second favourite at 2-1 with Louis. Next came James at 8-1, Albert at 10-1, Philip at 14-1 and Henry at 16-1.

According to the "Mother and Baby" website, the top ten boys name at this moment in time are Oliver, Reggie, Reuben, Theo, Thiago, George, Jack, Harry, Noah and Jacob.

Have you ever wondered why your parents named you as they did and why they chose those names? Have you ever wished that they had chosen differently?

Some names are chosen because they are popular or are connected to a celebrity, others because of a family connection and in many cultures because of the meaning of the name itself.

Names are important because they identify us and root us and place us in time and history. Names are particularly important in the Bible. The name Emmanuel for example, means "God with us" and Jesus, "He saves".

It is interesting that when Moses, (whose own name meant pulled out of the water) asks of God when he encounters him in the burning bush, what is your name? God answers, "I am who I am". Not the reply that Moses was hoping for but one that speaks eloquently of the mystery and transcendence of the divine.

Then, just a few days later the announcement was made that the Prince who is fifth in line to the Royal throne is to be called Louis Arthur Charles.

No matter what your name and what people call you and no matter who you are and what you do, take comfort in the fact that you are known and loved by God as his precious child. For as the one of the greatest Old Testament prophets tells us "Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms" (Isaiah 49:16.)

Now that is good news!

With love and God Bless,

Keith

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