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Foundations For Our Future #53

Foundations for Our Future (53)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Today is the eighth day of Christmas, and the beginning of a New Year in the modern calendar. It is also the day (the eighth after birth) on which all Jewish boys are circumcised in fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham. It was the day they were given their name, a custom continued in the church when a child is baptized and named.

The child of Mary was named Jesus, and the mention of the name brings joy to all believers. Does it to you? It is almost never heard in public except to mock the Christian faith or to utter a curse. And yet we describe it, in the family of the church, as “the” holy name, the “name above all names.”

The description of our Lord’s naming is to be found in the gospel of Luke (2:21), where we see the Holy Family obeying the law of God given to Israel. There is not a hint of reluctance to obey in Joseph and Mary, but only a faithful and loving response to God and his goodness. How blessed are those children brought up in such a home!

Some years ago a clergy friend of mine was looking for a young assistant. When the best candidate had been found, he made a call to his boss, and asked only one question: “Does he say the word Jesus with joy?” The answer was affirmative, and he hired the man.

 

How we hear, pray, and say the name of our Lord reveals our hearts.