This is difficult. Primarily it’s difficult because I have the unenviable task of trying to say something meaningful to two people who are barely even aware that my lips are moving. Joey can’t think of anything but what a beautiful bride Hannah is and Hannah is just generally overwhelmed by Joey’s all-around hunkiness. But let’s give it a shot.
I have been thinking and praying for some time about what to say at this moment that would hopefully be meaningful and special and particularly unique to the two of you. For some reason, a while back, my thoughts began to center on your names and what they mean. Now I knew what Hannah’s name meant because Janet and I had carefully considered that when she was born. But I needed to do some investigating on Joey.
First, Hannah Gale Price. In my crack research I learned that in 1989, the year of your birth, Hannah was the 42nd most popular name for girls. The name Hannah means grace and the name Gale means song, at least that’s what all the books said around the time she was born. While preparing for this I looked up Gale again and found that one of the meanings it holds is “father in rejoicing.” Now that’s a reference to the fact that it has also been a name for males historically. So a man named Gale is one who is a “father in rejoicing.” But it’s also very significant here. For all of your life Hannah, as my Baby Girl, you have made your father rejoice. I have rejoiced as I’ve watched you grow into the woman you are today and I greatly rejoice in God’s sovereign providence in bringing you to this moment with Joey.
But let’s go back to the meaning it held for your mother and I, song of grace. That’s what you have been to us all of your life. You were a gift of God’s grace to us from the first moment’s that you emerged from your mother’s womb. How well I remember the night I lay in a hot hotel room in El Salvador that I was sharing with Arthur and the phone rang in the middle of the night. You were calling to tell us that you had just been born again; the greatest display of God’s grace in your life. Since then we have watched you grow in grace till now you stand here as a testament to the grace of God in every way.
Joseph Glen Logan. Again I learned in my crack research that the name Joseph was the 11th most popular name for a boy in 1989 when you were born. But what is the meaning of your name? Well, from several sources I discovered first of all that the meaning of the name Glen. Now I know it was given to you in honor of your granddad. But I also discovered that the name itself means valley. How fitting for a guy from Fresno. You have been a child of the valley all your life.
I went to a Bible dictionary to learn the meaning of the name Joseph, which is very prominent in Scripture. Two of the greatest characters of the Bible are Joseph the son of Jacob in the OT and Joseph the husband of Mary in the NT. Both were men of great faith in and humble submission to God. But what does the name mean? Joseph means God will increase. How true that has been in your life. God has increased you physically in making you into the man you are today. God has increased you mentally in giving you a keen mind that loves to study and learn in whatever area you find yourself. God has increased you personally in making you a kind person who cares deeply about others. And best of all God has increased you spiritually by calling you to Himself and giving you the gift of eternal life and continuing to sanctify you on a daily basis.
However, now for just a moment let’s think of your names and what is happening today. God is making the two of you one. The Scripture says you are no more two but one flesh. So let’s take Joey and Hannah and make them one: God will increase grace! I can think of no greater name for a couple who begin their lives as one together. I pray for you that this name will be true for you in every way. I pray that God will increase His grace in you together as He does individually in conforming your marriage to the likeness of Jesus Christ. I pray that He will increase His grace to you in the provision of your home and earthly needs. I pray that one day He will increase His grace to you by giving you a great heritage for a family. I pray that He will increase His grace to you by allowing your marriage to be a picture to the world of the relationship between Christ and His church. So that many who know you and see your love will be drawn to a loving Savior.
I pray that he will increase His grace to you by helping you to remember that there is “the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”