Holy Name

. 3 min read

Christ Church, Mountain Top; Communion, Covenant
Luke 2.21
Philippians 2.5-11
embarrassed to walk with me at the mall
      To “name” me as Dad
      You underestimate the power of the dark
      Every knee will bow, and every son confess
that I am dad
      What does it take for them to call me
does it take for someone to call Jesus “Lord”?
      Martyrs of Sabaste, 40 men of the Roman
legion, frozen lake, AD 320
Stephen – Dec 26 – “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Ac 7.60)
Innocents – Dec 28 – Collect (BCP): … Receive, we pray into the arms of your
mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of
evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love and peace. …
“Every tongue”? Just another empire?
      Esther 8.17
many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the
Jews had fallen on them.”
Prayer: “Christ will have no servants except by consent.”

1, angel to Mary:
You will conceive
in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  32 He will be great, and will be
called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne
of his ancestor David.  33 He
will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no
      Yes, Jesus will reign as king. Yet, Jesus
enters our world not as king but as a vulnerable baby, a peasant child, in an
occupied territory.
      Yes, Jesus is God and from all eternity
lived in the form of God. Yet, Jesus gives up all the trappings of glory and
power. He emptied himself.
 Emptied himself, taking the
form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human
form,  8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross.
      Pour the cup, as speak “empty”
      Break the bread and hold it up, cruciform,
as speak “on a cross”
Gibbons on leadership – we connect with others not by our accomplishments but through
our weakness and pain (The Monkey and the
, and Q 2008 talk)
Jesus “Lord” means that I bow my knee in submission, that I give my consent to
obedience. And the only coercion is the coercion of his love and his humility,
his willingness to embrace human weakness and pain, to embrace my weakness and
      In some cases, calling Jesus “Lord” ends
in martyrdom. That is, statistically, rare. But for all of his disciples, Jesus
invites us to “take up your cross daily and follow”. Again, we are only
following the Lord who takes up his own cross and helps us to carry ours. Every
small act of obedience, every choice to submit our will, every choice to deny
our pride, every choice to make ourselves vulnerable, every choice to be
faithful when it is hard to be faithful … That’s our daily cross.
Jesus “Lord” means our obedience and submission. It also means our witness. It
means that we speak up, that we claim our faith in public – unlike my children
in their adolescent embarrassment. In the first century, witness and martyrdom
went together. The Greek word for witness, martus,
is actually the root for our English word martyr. As Jesus said, “Those who are
ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them
the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father
with the holy angels” (Mark 8.38).
we share in John Wesley’s New Year tradition of the Covenant Prayer. It is a
prayer which emphasizes what it means for us to call Jesus “Lord”. Please take
the prayer service home with you and refer to it throughout the year in your
personal prayer life.
Blessing: Numbers 6:24-26 (Placing the name of the LORD on Israel)
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to

the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you