For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
What a birth announcement that was! Its like was never seen before and will never be seen again. Upon witnessing the birth of another child, my mind was brought back to it, as seeing the suffering of child-bearing always makes me reflect on the incredible suffering Christ endured to give us eternal life, and the wondrous miracle of a new human life brings me face to face with the Giver of Life. So it was that if you’d been in our apartment this morning you would have been subjected to my rather weak performance of “For Unto Us A Child Is Born” from Handel’s Messiah while I took my shower. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much :-)
So what about this little one? Here are some vital statistics:
|Name:||Anne Marie Jubilee Talbott|
|Born on:||February 13th, 2005 at 3:53 AM|
Baby and mother are doing great, and everybody’s taking it easy as we all try to recoup from an uneventful, though certainly intense, home labor and delivery. Reuben’s staying with his grandparents now, but when he saw his little sister this morning he smiled real big and proclaimed, “Be-bee!” It seemed like a good start to what we hope will become a great friendship as they grow up together.
What’s in a Name?
I hope to give each child a promise and a warning in their name. Reuben’s is in his first: Reuben was the first-born of Jacob, and Jacob blessed him as being mighty, strong, dignified and powerful. It was also Reuben that sought to dissuade his brothers from selling Joseph in to slavery. However the warning is here, too, because Reuben failed to achieve what he could have because he did not have self-control to match his strength and passion, and so was passed over for the first-born’s greater position and inheritance. So I hope my son will cling to the promise of leading his siblings and protecting them, and heed the warning of learning self-control and not giving up a lifetime (and eternity) of spiritual rewards for a “bit” of sin for a season.
With Anne Marie, the promise and warning are tied up in her middle name: Jubilee. The Jubilee was the seventh seventh year on the Jewish calendar, in which property was returned to the original owner and slaves were freed from their bondage. The very economy of the nation was tied up in the Jubilee, for land was priced according to how long it could be held before being freed by this “Day of Atonement.” The word “Jubilee” actually refers to the sound of the trumpet that was blown to declare its start, and it was a sound of great joy and rejoicing throughout the land. But perhaps most importantly, this day was one of the great signposts of the Old Testament, pointing towards Christ:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD [Jubilee!], and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
So this little one’s promise is one of liberty, of freedom, and of hope. But the warning lies here, too, for there would be no need of Jubilee if not for bondage and indebtedness. And so I hope that Anne Marie will guard her heart very diligently and not allow it to come in to bondage to anything or anyone that would seek to enslave her and rob her of her ability to give herself freely to whatever it is the Lord would have her to do. In particular, my prayer is that she will someday join with a Godly man to begin a family of their own, and that she will be able to do it free and clear, without regret.
Weighty matters for a little girl barely 12 hours old? Perhaps. But if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time, and I want to aim every one of my children even as a mighty man does his arrows. May they fly straight and true, by the grace and to the glory of God.