Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 30, 2012

Meditation for the Week December 30, 2012

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.        -Luke 2:21


How do you name the Son of God?  Apparently, you name the Son of God a common name.  Jesus—a variation of Joshua or the Hebrew Yeshua—was a very common name in the days when Mary and Joseph welcomed their newborn son.

We know that in the Old Testament, names were not bestowed upon children willy-nilly.  Children were given a special name that would fit them…or so it was hoped.  For example, Esau was ruddy and covered with prominent red hair when he was born—so he was named Esau (“Red”).  To emphasize the seriousness of his message, the prophet Isaiah named his son “A Remnant Will Return.”  Jesus was given a name that means “The Lord Saves.”

“Jesus”—“The Lord Saves” is the name bestowed on him by Joseph in obedience to the angel’s command.  Isaiah calls Jesus’s name “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Peter calls him “The Christ, the Son of the Living God,” and Thomas calls him “My Lord and My God.”  John the Baptist calls him “The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World” and Paul calls him “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

You will notice that when we begin our worship services, we begin “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  We do this to remind ourselves who we are gathered to worship, but it is also so that we remember our Baptism.  We are Baptized in the name of Jesus and we receive all that is attached to that name.

Through your Baptism, you are saved by the Lord.  The Wonderful Counselor gives you wisdom, the Mighty God makes his home with you, the Everlasting Father abides with you, and the Prince of Peace gives you a peace that passes all understanding.  The Christ, the Son of the Living God breathes forgiving eternal life into you and Your Lord and God unites himself to you.  Through your being baptized into the name of Jesus, the Lamb of God takes away all your sin and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords prepares a place of honor for you in his eternal kingdom.

Joseph and Mary bestowed upon Jesus a common name of his day; upon you—common as you are—Jesus has bestowed his unique and saving name.  And with it, he bestows upon you the totality of his eternal glory.


Our Weekly Prayer

Lord God, You made Your beloved Son, our Savior, subject to the Law and caused Him to shed His blood on our behalf.  Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit that our hearts may be made pure from all sins; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.