What’s in Our Name?

The age-old question has been asked many times and received many varied responses. Sometimes we wonder about the origin and significance of a person’s name or the meaning of a company’s title. So, what’s in the name Hosanna Pathways?

Hosanna is a Hebrew word, and like the Hebrews of old, the founders of this agency decided upon the name only after very serious contemplation. The Hebrews themselves recognized name-giving as a very serious responsibility because they believed that the meaning of a name would characterize the individual being named. For example, Jacob was named “the heel grabber” because he was born clutching his twin brother’s heel. Sure enough, he then lived out that name by always trying to be one-up on his twin and eventually overtook him by obtaining his birthright and then his blessing. Like Jacob’s “heel-grabber” name, the name Hosanna was selected very carefully.

Hosanna is a term that is composed of two smaller words: hosa and na. Hosa means “save,” and na means “we pray.” Combined, therefore, the word Hosanna means “save we pray!” The word has two dimensions to its meaning: the personal and political/social aspects.

Most of us are more likely to associate the term on an intimate, personal basis. A person who cries “Hosanna!” (“save me!”) is crying out for personal liberation from something oppressive, be it loneliness, fear, or hopelessness. Yes, it is the prayer of the foster/orphan child!

Not just a house, but a home

“Save me!”

But there is also the political/social dimension to the word Hosanna. What is the primary scene that comes to mind when you hear the word, Hosanna? As Jesus of Nazareth was approaching the city of Jerusalem, about to begin the last week of His earthly life, He mounted a donkey and entered the city gates. The crowds gathered around Him, crying, “Hosanna!” Interestingly, as the people cried out to be saved by this carpenter, who impressed them with His miraculous powers, they sought political/social redemption from an oppressive Roman government. Hosanna is the personal cry of the foster/orphan child, which includes a political/social cry for relief from a system that is overwhelmed with too many children, very limited support, and too few foster/orphan homes.

Our Hosanna prayer is “God, help Hosanna Pathways help provide relief to the neglected and oppressed children caught in a bureaucratic whirlwind and often transplanted from home to home! Provide for these children more Christian homes, so they may no longer feel the loneliness and sadness of possibly having a house but the greater joy of having a home!” 

 “Save me!” is the child's cry and our cry from them. Is it your cry? If it is, we invite you to call and find out how you may become involved in the work of Hosanna Pathways.