We have names and they matter. Chosen for us they identify who we are. And in many ways we grow into them.
At first they may sound common or strange or unexpected, but given time we answer to them and they become ours.
But beyond names we have titles.
It may be a title linked to a career: Manager, CEO, Professor, Doctor, Teacher etc.
Or it may be linked to a relationship: Mum, Dad, Nan, Grandma, Pops, Grandad
They tell us about the places we are linked to, and to some extent our achievements. Sometimes they can feel as important as our name.
As we approach Christmas we prepare for the birth of a baby with a very common name: Jesus. There were hundreds of babies born that year with that name. But what the gospel writers make clear is that while this name matters, the titles of Jesus give us a bigger picture of who he is. They all do this, but Matthew seems to take great delight in introducing Jesus to us in his first two chapters, suggesting all the titles that will come to define him.
Join us over the next few weeks as we take time to explore each of them, giving us a chance to get a different perspective on Jesus – both then and for us now.