Sermon - January 1, 2023 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Sermon – January 1, 2023

Year A

First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 8
Second Reading: Philippians: 2:5-11
Gospel: Luke 2:15-21


Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, in glory everlasting. Amen

The Power of Jesus’s Name

Today is another long been celebrated as another principal feast day of our Lord: what today we call the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In ancient Jewish tradition, a child was circumcised and named on the eight days of life. The ritual was and is considered a sign of the covenant between God and his people, dating back to Abraham, about 1800 years before Christ, documented in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis.

In the New Testament, we have been told that God is the one who will give Jesus his name. Because God is giving Jesus his name, we can expect… this is very important about Jesus’s

          and the story of God’s love for the world.

In the gospel lesson for today, we hear that “after eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was to be called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Earlier in the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel, God tells Mary that she will conceive and bear a son that she will call him Jesus. 

         He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.

God is telling us who Jesus is, the name “Jesus” is a Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means “the Lord helps” or “the Lord saves”

So, this means today, we are celebrating Jesus, 

            the one through who the Lord helps or saves his people.

Names are still given in baptism, it tells us who we are, we are beloved children of God, members of Christ, and yes there are many of us who are given ordinary names.

I was always proud of my two names, because it was my two grandmothers’ names. 

I am sure you all have a story about your names and what they mean to you. 

All names our parents choose are important to us, because of our culture, religion, and individual choices.

What does the name of Jesus mean to you today? Is it the power of His love? Is it knowing that through him we are promised salvation?

In our second reading (Philippians: 2:5-11)

“The name of Jesus Christ is a powerful name that is above every other name.”

 It is the name that has the power of giving Christians whatever they need on earth.

Jesus, “God is salvation.”

God gave Jesus the “Name that is above every name” It is powerful, it is because of the sacrifice He made through living a perfect life, dying on the cross and being resurrected. 

Jesus’s name is powerful, because of Jesus Christ, the person, God incarnate, who made a way for our salvation.

Hearing the name of “Jesus” every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is our savior and there is power in his Name!

The Reverend Lola Culbreath