The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus."
"But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel'
(which means, God with us)."
"But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
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."
Though often celebrated on January 1, or the Eighth Day of Christmas, today marks a celebration of the Holy Name of Jesus.
And what a name worth celebrating.
Jesus is derived from the Greek name Ἰησοῦς, a form of the Hebrew Yeshua or Joshua, meaning Yahweh saves, is salvation, is a saving-cry, is my help.
That Jesus is born is the good news of Christmas. That our salvation is born. That God saves. And that He is Emmanuel. God is with us. God cares for us. Our God saves.
Names matter in Hebrew culture. When a parent gives a child a name, the parent is giving the child a connection to previous generations. The parent is also making a statement about their hope for who their child will become. In this way, the name carries with it some identity for the child. This is why it was so striking that the angel would tell Mary what the child's name would be. He was asserting God's parentage and identifying the child for the world.
Our God saves indeed. He is worthy to be praised.
It's in His very name.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
There's just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus,
Like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there's something about that name.
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