Saturday Dec. 28
Scripture: Luke 2:21
Before Jesus’ arrival, all we know of Mary and Joseph is that there were ordinary decent people who did their best to follow the Jewish customs of their day. Now, after all the angel appearances, the immaculate conceptions, a long journey to Bethlehem, and the surprise visit by shepherds to the manger, Mary and Joseph do exactly as we would expect: they continue to follow the customs they have been taught. They take Jesus to be circumcised on the 8thday of his life and on that day they formally give him the name Jesus.
Jesus, which is a derivative of the Hebrew name Joshua, means “God saves” or “God is salvation.” You may remember Joshua was the leader who first led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Now, Jesus has come to save the people by showing them the way to a Promised land of a whole different sort.
New parents generally put a tremendous amount of thought into the name of a child. They want the child’s name often to reflect their family history and their hopes and dreams for their child. By choosing the name Jesus, Mary and Joseph show they are fully commitment to the plan God has revealed to them through the angels. In so doing, they give Jesus a family name, a Hebrew name, signifying that Jesus would carry out and fulfill the mission given the Israelites to be a chosen people who would make God’s blessings known to the world.
Prayer: Jesus, name above all names, we thank you for coming that the world might know your Father’s glory. Through the power of your Holy Spirit may our ordinary decent lives make your name known just as Mary and Joseph’s did long ago. Amen.