Collect: “Almighty God, your blessed Son fulfilled the covenant of circumcision for our sake, and was given the Name that is above every name: Give us grace faithfully to bear his Name, and to worship him with pure hearts according to the New Covenant; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today, January 1, is the Feast of the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is 8 days after Christmas, and marks when jewish baby boys were circumcised, and so when Jesus would have been circumcised. At the circumcision ceremony is also where the baby was officially named for the whole family to know.
We know from the Gospel of Luke that our Lord was given his name by the angel Gabriel even before his birth. But, his parents obediently carried out everything the law prescribed as they dedicated their newborn baby to the Almighty God, and named him at his circumcision, obeying the angel and giving him the named ordained for him.
The name Jesus, meaning “Savior”, declares to us the fullest reason for why our Lord came into the world: to save his people from their sins. And we must always keep our Lord’s name in front of us as holy and blessed, for there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved.
Some readings for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus:
OT: Exodus 34:1-9
NT: Romans 1:1-7
Gospel: Luke 2:15-21