Pickles, Pickleball, and Other Names

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 NIV

Pickleball has become very popular in today’s sport’s world. It has reportedly 2.8 million players and tournaments and pickleball enthusiasts can be found from the smallest town to exotic locales all over the world.

The Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships are being held now outside of Palm Springs, CA. There is a handmade dog adorning the grounds of the tournament because rumor has it that Pickleball got it’s name from a cockapoo puppy named Pickles. Pickles was known to take the wiffle balls in its mouth and make a run for it.

Pickles’ owners state that the game’s name really came from the sport of rowing because Pickles did not become part of the family till two years after pickleball was given its name. The dog’s owner rowed in college and a mismatched crew boat team was referred to as a “pickle boat”. Whichever story you choose to believe, Pickleball has a large following and is becoming known around the world.

Isaiah 7:14 states, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”. This proclamation was repeated in Matthew by the angel to Joseph in verse 23. In verse 21, the angel tells Joseph to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.

Joseph did what the angel commanded and the name Jesus was given to the new baby. A baby named Jesus truly was Immanuel, God with us. He brought heaven to earth in a most unlikely way. The tiny form of a newborn will save us from our sins and Mary delivered God into our midst.

Unlike Pickleball, we are sure how Jesus got his name. There is no question which story to believe. Isaiah predicted it long before the virgin gave birth. Angels were sent to instruct the parents-to-be on who this child was and what he was to be called and just what his name meant to them and to all people that need delivered from their sins. Choirs of angels sang to announce his holy birth.

Jesus’ name is known and worshipped from the smallest towns to exotic locales all over the world. From lowly shepherds to the wisest kings, his birth was celebrated and to this day, we come from all walks of life to proclaim his birth to a world that needs God with us.

Won’t you celebrate the name above all names this Christmas? Acts 4:12 proclaims, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Worship Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

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