New Year's Eve - Christmastide VII
"And she will bear a Son, and you will call His name 'Jesus,' for He shall save His people from their sins." (St. Matthew 1:21)
Merry Christmas! In the name of Jesus. Amen. Jesus' name means "Yahweh saves." He does His Name. He alone can. He alone can save His people. He alone can save you and me from our sins.
Everything that Jesus does in the Gospels, He does to do His name. That means He does what He does to save you and me. He is obedient. He suffers. He dies on the cross.
After He had done His name all the way to the Cross, He rose and sent His men to put His name on you and me. His pastors preach and absolve in His name and so deliver everything that He did for you doing His name, saving His people from their sins.
His name was put on you in Holy Baptism--the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Everything that could possibly have kept you out of heaven was taken away when He splashed His name on you at the Baptismal Font.
His Service begins and ends in His Name. Your life is lived in His name. Your year ends in His name. When you fall asleep, you will do so in His Name.
So as you remember all that the Lord has done for you in the past year, remember your baptism. You are who you are not because this or that happened this past year. No, you are who you are because Jesus did His name and saved you from all your sins.
Repent. Stop living as if you do not bear His name. Stop living as if who you are is determined by what you do, have done, who you know, and what you think.
No, you bear the name of Christ. That is who you are. You are baptized, He has done His name for you. Your sins are forgiven you in the name of Jesus. Merry Christmas! In the name of Jesus. Amen.
"O Lord God, heavenly Father, who sent Your only-begotten Son to be our Savior and so gave Him the name of Jesus, mercifully grant that we who worship His name on earth may joyfully behold Him in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever." (Collect for the Eve of the Name of Jesus)
Daily Lectionary: Isa. 60:1-22, St. Luke 1:39-56
Today's Readings: St. Matt. 1:18-21, Isa. 51:12-16, Rom. 8:31-39 (LW)
Higher Things would like to thank the Rev. George F. Borghardt III (Assistant Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX) for writing this season's Reflections.
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