Lectionary Readings

Holy Name of Jesus
January 1, 2008

Psalm 8
Numbers 6:22-27

Luke 2:15-21
Galatians 4:4-7 or Philippians 2:5-11

Today’s second reading begins in the same place as the first, in the Psalms. Luke gives us the narrative of the young baby Jesus being dedicated in the temple — which is part of the reason for today’s reading. Mary and Joseph took their baby boy to the temple to be dedicated and circumsized as was the Jewish custom. It was at this ceremony that he was named Jesus. Today is the eighth day after Christmas, so today we remember the name of Jesus, which should really be remembered every day. The New Testament passages are among my favorite passages in the Bible, especially the Philippians passage. Jesus has been given the name that is above every other name — that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. I think it’s appropriate to finish with the blessing or benediction from Numbers —

May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

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