Theme: The names and leadership of Jesus Christ.
Scripture: in Luke’s account of the Gospel, Jesus has many names:
Luke 1: 32 – the Most High
Luke 1: 35 – Son of God
Luke 1: 47 – Savior
Luke 1: 69 – Horn of Salvation
Luke 1: 78 – Daybreak
Luke 2: 11 – Messiah and Lord
Luke 2: 25 – Consolation of Israel
Luke 7: 16 – Great Prophet
Luke 23: 35 – the chosen one, Messiah of God
Jesus is also referred to as Christ the King and the King of the Jews.
As a king, however, Jesus was very different than other kings of his time.
Today, we are going to talk about people’s names, what they mean and what they meant in the case of Jesus.
First, we will talk about your names, starting with Fred and Jane.
Jane, I’m not your son!
I know, but son is one of your names.
Well yes, that’s what my mom calls me.
Do have any other names?
Yes! My dad calls me sport.
That’s a nickname.
A what name?
A nickname is like a short version of your first name or just a cute or sometimes silly name that people like to call you.
So ,a nickname is another name for a name.
I guess so.
Wow, this is getting complicated!
Do you like your name?
I guess so. I never really thought about it.
Do you know why your parents named you Fred
My grandpa’s name is Frederick. So maybe they named me Fred to make grandpa happy.
What about your name?
I don’t know, but I am going to ask my mom tonight.
I am not your sister.
Got ya. I’ve heard Billy, your brother, call you sister, so that is one of your names.
You’re right Beanbag.
Get the children to talk about their names:
1. Do they know who or what their parents named them after? Note: in the Chinese culture, it is not appropriate to give a child the first name of a family ancestor.
2. Take a few names as examples and ask the children what characteristics the names invoke. For example, Fred = strong, honest.
Then talk about the names people have called Jesus.
1. Review the names mentioned in Luke (see ‘Scripture’ above).
2. Question: What kind of person do you think of when you hear the name King? Possible answers: wealthy, a ruler, a dictator, collects taxes, makes laws, most powerful, elegantly dressed, royalty.
3. Question: Do you think this kind of king is the kind of king Jesus was?
4. Question: What kind of king was Jesus? Possible answers: Jesus was poor, a leader by people’s choice; a teacher, he did not seek monetary reward, he was not a lawmaker but he did promote the 10 commandments, he was poorly dressed and born of poor people.
Above all, as King of the Jews, Jesus practiced what he preached: “Love God and your neighbor as yourself.”
5. Question: Based on what you know about Jesus, what name would you give him?
Note: Today is an important feast day in the Catholic Church: the Solemnity of Christ the King. Solemnity means impressiveness, earnestness or gravity.