“Naming”

Sermon – 01-12-20 – Epiphany I – The Baptism of Christ – Cycle A
Scriptures: Isaiah 42:1-9; “new things” verses; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17
Sermon Title: “Naming”

Baptism – naming a person. In Jesus’ baptism the voice of the Father said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” Claiming, identifying, shaping. The Father is claiming this 30-year-old person as his Son. We use capital “S” because this is the Holy Son, part of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit.

So now we have one name other than Jesus. It is Son. As time went on, Jesus did not stand still. He earned many other names by what he did and who he is. The name “Lord” is used for all three persons of the Trinity. It makes reading the Bible tricky. When we read “Lord,” is it referring to the Father or to the Son or to the Holy Spirit? The correct answer is all three!

Then there are the names Master, Counselor, Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, Teacher, Preacher, Healer, Redeemer, Savior. The ultimate name as it applies to us – Savior! Did you ever wonder why sometimes Jesus is called Son of God but also Son of Man? My answer to that is because he was born to a human, he is called Son of Man. Because the Holy Spirit is involved in the birth, Jesus is referred to as the Son of God. Jesus is really the Son person of God come to earth in human form. God wanted us to know more about himself so he sent this baby to be a human so we could learn more about God by reading and hearing about this “God on earth” named Jesus. At the time of Jesus’ birth, this was a new thing! Two Thousand and some years later, it is not a new thing, historically.

A loaf of bread is fresh when it is new. It is a new thing. As time moves along, this same loaf becomes either stale or moldy, depending on what was done with it. It rarely stays fresh, not even in the freezer. Our Christian life could be compared to this loaf of bread. Our Christian life can become dry, or even more unpleasant, as time goes on even if we are faithful to God and even if we remain faithful with our commitments to the church and to God. Contrary to the loaf of bread, God does not need to be discarded and started from scratch even if we had the power to do that.

God is the same forever and ever and ever! However, our practices and ways of doing things can become stale or smelly. That is, they don’t work very well anymore. It could be better. That is when we need to do a self-evaluation. Am I taking God for granted? Do I thank God for the same thing over and over which is not a bad thing? However, we could be adding some spice to our relationship with God. We could be asking God to show us new ways of prayer, new ways of being alive in Christ. We could be “moving aroma” with the love of Jesus Christ. People could sense that something has found us that is more alive than the ordinary social life.

This new thing is not replacing the foundation. A new look and feel about Christ in our lives could transform our lives! The very neatest idea of all is that we have status, we have a name that explains who we are in God. Just as Jesus was declared as Son by the Father, we are claimed by the Father as sons and daughters – lower case s and d because we are not part of the Trinity. We just benefit from the Trinity. We are saved for eternity. We are in relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ now and forever! These are our names: sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, children all of the heavenly Trinity. How very blessed are we! Let’s all call ourselves blessed! Sh! Amen

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