The Naming of Jesus, a new sonnet

The naming of Jesus

The naming of Jesus

January 1st brings us not only to the start of a new year but to a lovely little festival of the church: The Naming of Jesus. It is an amazing thing to think that the Eternal Word of God, the Logos from whom all languages and all meaning ultimately derives, should deign himself to be named and to learn a language along side us.

Steve Bell has written an excellent reflection on this festival in his new Christmastide Snippet App and he asked me to compose a sonnet to with it. So here it is. As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button.

The Naming of Jesus


Luke 1:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


I name you now, from whom all names derive

Who uttered forth the name of everything,

And in that naming made the world alive,

Sprung from the breath and essence of your being.

The very Word that gave us words to speak,

You drank in language with your mother’s milk

And learned through touch before you learned to talk,

You wove our week-day world, and still one week

Within that world, you took your saving name,

A given name, the gift of that good angel,

Whose Gospel breathes in good news for us all.

We call your name that we might hear a call

That carries from your cradle to our graves

Yeshua, Living Jesus, Yahweh Saves.


Filed under christianity, imagination

12 responses to “The Naming of Jesus, a new sonnet

  1. Mi dispiace non so leggere in inglese, riesco solo a decifrare qualche parola, peccato penso che le tue poesie siano veramente belle. Buon Anno

  2. Sono riuscita a tradurre in italiano la tua poesia, complimenti! E’ proprio bella! Tante cose….

  3. Pat Conneen

    So good. So very good.

  4. Pingback: Feast of the Holy Name and Circumcision » The Fellowship of St. Barnabas

  5. I was so excited to see a new sonnet when I looked at your blog this morning… And what a Beautiful one it is! I love the play on the “word” and naming theme.

    In my excitement over this piece, I have posted your sonnet on my blog (linking back to your website). Please let me know if you would prefer that I only link to the piece instead. Thank you!

  6. SBurke

    Beautiful sonnet and reflection, Malcolm.
    CS Lewis spoke of the incarnation as myth becoming fact and drawing all myths to itself in fulfillment (‘Myth Becomes Fact’).
    Thank you for your poetry, it is a great gift.

  7. Pingback: Malcolm Guite on Parable and Paradox

  8. Pingback: Malcolm Guite on Parable and Paradox

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