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For many Americans, January 1 marks the beginning of a New Year. For Christians, however, January 1 is also the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. But why should we set aside a feast day to celebrate the name of Jesus?
In obedience to the commandment in Genesis 17:12, Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day after his birth. This event marked our Lord’s inclusion in the old covenant and the beginning of his fulfillment of the law on our behalf. According to Jewish custom, the day of circumcision was also the day of his naming.
Before the birth of our Lord, his father Joseph was visited by an angel and told to name his son Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus literally means ‘Yahweh is salvation,’ a sign prefiguring the coming redemption wrought on Calvary.
As we begin 2018, let us give thanks to God the Father for giving his Son a mighty name that is above all names. Let us look forward to the day when “every kneel shall bow and every tongue in heaven and on earth shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11).
The Rev. Bryan BibaAssociate Rector, Adult Discipleship
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