the feast of the Holy Name

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Christology / Exodus / Gospels / Lectionary / New Testament

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And he was called Jesus.

It’s a peculiarity that Christianity as we know it came through the furnace of the Latin speaking Roman Empire that we call the Son of God “Jesus.”

Unless the Angel Gabriel spoke in Latin to the Virgin Mother, he told her to name him “Yeshua,” or “Joshua.”

Recovering the Savior’s Hebrew name we can find riches previously unavailable to us.

For “Joshua” is both a harkening back, and a glance down the road, all at once.

“Joshua” should immediately recall the great patriarch, who picked up Moses’ mantle. It was Joshua who finished Moses’ job. It was Joshua who finished the journey of the Exodus.

It was Joshua who brought the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.

Let that sink in for a moment.

And, “Joshua,” or “Yeshua,” has meaning to. It means “God saves.”

In a name, “Joshua,” and it’s Latin cousin “Jesus,” both points back to the saving acts of God in ages past AND points forward to the saving acts which will in years to come (after his circumcision and naming) occur on Golgotha and in an empty tomb.

A rose by any other name would still be a rose. But, this rose (e’re blooming?) has a name which is meant to signal to us all who He is, Who sent Him, Who acts, and who will save us all.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella


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