In pictures, Jesus sometimes cradles a lamb or a child. Sometimes he stands in judgment holding a book. Often we see him in agony upon a cross. Sometimes he sits on his mother’s lap looking like a tiny king.
If you were asked to draw Jesus, what would he look like?
Who do you know Jesus to be?next >
One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
John 1:40-42next >
Do you know any stories about your name? Have you ever asked your parents how they came to choose the name you have and not a different one? There’s a great deal of power and responsibility in giving someone a name. Parents often choose names that express something about who the parents hope the child will be.
The disciples found out pretty quickly that Jesus is a Name-giver. He meets Simon for the first time and gives him a new name, a new identity. He sees not only the person before him but who Simon will become, a rock (Peter means rock in Greek). Jesus sees in him a person that others will come to rely on.
Jesus sees us and gives us a new name too. Jesus sees all our faults and failings, our gifts and strengths, and names us. He names each of us “Beloved Child of God.” With a name like that, there is no limit to who and what we can become.
Phillip Facklernext >
Generous God, I know you love me like a parent. Whenever I feel lost or lonely, help me to hear the name you gave me through your Son Jesus. Help me to remember that I am your beloved child, capable of sharing the love you have given me with everyone I meet. Amen.next >
Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Phillip Fackler is an Episcopal priest, aspiring academic, and resident of Raleigh, NC. Occasionally, he can be found attempting to reason with his young children, relaxing outdoors with his family, or wandering an art museum.
Advent: Of the Father’s Love Begotten