So, without further delay, allow me to announce our excitement at the ever-nearing arrival of our daughter Ziona Katriel Reimer.
Ziona is a derivative of the Hebrew proper noun "Zion". This is a term with a rich meaning in the Old Testament text, especially in the Psalms and in the prophecy of Isaiah. It is primarily used in relation to the future hope of God's covenant people. Psalm 50 proclaims that it is from mount Zion, described as the perfection of beauty, that God will shine forth. It is the daughters of Zion that were to look forward to their King riding on a donkey. In John's apocalypse the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is envisioned standing upon mount Zion surrounded by those emblazoned with the name of the Father. For Shanna and I this name reminds us of the future hope of glory that we have and that she will enjoy as a child of God.
The name Katriel is from the Hebrew root ktr or qtr with the suffix "-el", for God. The first root, ktr, means "to surround" or "to encircle", or more metaphorically, "to crown". The second root, qtr, means "to make sacrifices smoke" or "to burn or offer a sacrifice". The name, using the first root, means something akin to being "surrounded by God", or more metaphorically, to be the "crown of God". The second root means "offering of God" or "sacrifice of God". This name has a profound meaning for Shanna and I as we think of her in light of our relationship with Almighty God. We consider her a gift from God but we also offer her back to Him as an offering and pray that she is encircled by God's presence and grace.
We already love our child dearly and are eager to meet her face to face. It will be one of the greatest joys of life to see her christened with this name and grow into a thriving participant in God's covenant.
Allow me to share the prayer for children one more time, for this is our prayer for her:
ALMIGHTY God, heavenly Father, who hast blessed us with the joy and care of children; Give us light and strength so to train them, that they may love whatsoever things are true and pure and lovely and of good report, following the example of their Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.