What’s In a Name?

What’s in a Name?
 
by Rev. Cathie P. Young
 
 
 
This Sunday marks the feast of the Holy Name which is recognized on January 1, the eighth day of Christmas.  On December 25 we celebrated Christ’s birth, the Word made flesh, and this Sunday, we remember the name given to Him “by the angel before He was conceived.”  The naming of the Christ child was a very human important moment. His name would be bound up with his identity, his history, his life’s journey.  But the naming of this Child was also a divine moment, one that would bind His identity with that of God.   Jesus, in English.  Yeshua, in Hebrew.  The name given to the little baby means “God saves.”   And this name has deep connection with the name assigned by God to Himself when He met Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3.  “I AM” who I am, God said to Moses.  As the great I AM saved his people from their captivity in the time of Moses, so this child Jesus would save us from being held captive to sin and death.
 
The name of Jesus, St. Paul tells us, God has exalted above every other name, such that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).  What does the name of Jesus mean to us today?  How does His name determine not only His identity, but also ours?  Join us this Sunday at one of our three worship services (7:30, 9 or 11 am) as we ask the question “What’s in a Name?”   
 
Here are the passages I will be using for this Sunday’s sermon:  Number 6:22-27, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:15-21.   If you are able, read them in advance so you are more prepared for this Sunday’s teaching!