J.H.W.

We love names. Since the beginning of our dating relationship we have talked for hours about our future children and what we would call them. We love researching the etymology of the names we choose for our children, and take the task very seriously. What’s funny is that our boys’ first names stuck with us through the years, but our girl names have changed! Maybe that was one way God prepared us for having two boys first. It’s silly to think about, but that’s how my brain works. All that to say, the little boy God is nurturing within my belly will be named: Jasper Hosea.

Billy and I decided we really loved the name Jasper early in our college years. It first came onto our radar because of the movie Children of Men. Billy loved the character played by Michael Caine who sacrifices himself for the good of humanity. It’s a great movie; you should check it out! From there, we learned that Jasper was a precious and rare stone, typically red, yellow, brown or green in color. In Hebrews 1, Jesus is described as “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…” Then in Revelation 21, the radiance of the glory of God is described as “like a most rare jewel, like a jasper.” In Revelation 4, the glory of God is described as a rainbow soon after being described as like jasper, which can be found in many variations of color. The author was attempting to describe the glory of God, which is something so multifaceted, complex, and magnificent that it had to be compared to precious stones that are found in many colors and variations. The glory of God is beautiful and shines bright like polished jasper. But the stone isn’t just something to look at; later in Revelation 21, when describing the New Jerusalem, our future eternal home with God, John tells us that God has chosen to use jasper as the first stone of the foundation and the stone used to build the wall around the Holy City. The glory of God will be on full display throughout eternity replacing the sun as our only source of light. It only makes sense that the city built around His glory would be built out of the stone that will reflect that glory from the ground up. Our hope for our son is the same theme we cling to for our entire purpose in life as a family. We pray that we always live in a way that brings God glory, and how amazing to have our son one day described as a man who reflects the radiance of the glory of God.

We decided to name him Jasper Hosea more recently. Hosea isn’t necessarily a beautiful book of the bible. It is a raw description of the sin of the world and how the perfect and Holy God of the universe chooses to love us despite our actions. Some of the imagery is uncomfortable, but it is necessary to depict the reality that our rebellious nature deserves the wrath of the Almighty. But in the end we hear of His great compassion and mercy for His people by choosing to heal them from their apostasy. When we look at the story of Hosea within The Story of the Gospel, we see that He turns His anger away from us, chooses to love us freely, and heals us from sin through the blood of Jesus.

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