Our theme is the Holy Name of Jesus, and God's unconditional, personal love for each of us. In the covenant relationship that God has with each one of us, God loves us first; we are precious in His sight. He gives us the gift of his son, Jesus, who takes the first step to come to each of us so that we may have life to the full. This love is joy, and it is meant for all people, especially the children.
This Christmas message -- and it is a Christmas message, because it is still Christmas season -- in the naming of Jesus reveals to us that our relationship to God is joy. God sent the Angel of the Lord to stand before the Shepherds and proclaim the great joy of our Savior's birth: "To you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior...and he was called Jesus."
"Jesus" is the transliteration from the Hebrew "Yeshua," which means "He saves." Traditionally, this has been expanded to "He saves his people from their sins." This is the "Holy Name" of Jesus -- a name so holy that, as the great hymn in the Epistle to the Philippians proclaims, at that name, every knee shall bow....
But the "holy name" is also our own holy name. Each of us is named in our baptism, and this is the name by which God knows us from then on. Since this is the name God calls us, it is holy. This feast is a time to consider what we are called to be in our own "holy name."