She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21

People choose names for their children for a variety of reasons.  There are family names and popular names.  Names are chosen because of how they go with last names, while some are crossed off because of how they would go with a last name.  In Biblical times, names were chosen because of what the names mean.

When the angel appears to Joseph, he is instructed on what to name the child, but also why.  He is given this name because it clearly states why He came into this world.  There is no confusion in Joseph’s mind as he does what he is told and names the child Jesus.

Some want to make Jesus out to be a wise teacher.  Others claim that he is a revolutionary.  Some see him only as a prophet.  But Jesus is who the angel says he is.  He came to save His people from their sins.  He saved His people through His suffering, death, and resurrection.  That forgiveness is pronounced to us in Holy Absolution and given to us in Holy Communion.  As this new year begins, may you find peace and joy in Jesus, who has saved you from your sins and given to you everlasting life.  As the Christmas season continues, we give thanks to God that Jesus is exactly who the angel said He was – our Savior.

Prayer – Almighty and eternal God, every good and perfect gift comes from you. We thank you for all your benefits, spiritual and physical, which you have given us in the past year. In your goodness, grant us a favorable and joyful new year, defend us from all dangers and adversities, and send on us the fullness of your blessing; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Fraternally in Christ,

President Lee Hagan



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