Jesus’ naming day comes eight days after his birth, when Mary and Joseph had their baby circumcised according to tradition.
Jesus comes to save us. He comes to save us from our enemies—those beyond us and those inside of us. He comes to save us from our fear, shame, grief, heartache, and misery. He comes to save us from the forces that oppress us—prejudice, hatred, inequity, powerlessness and abusiveness. He comes to forgive us and to free us.
Receiving the gift of a Savior implies living as if we’ve been saved. Receiving the gift of forgiveness implies living as if we’ve been forgiven. Receiving the gift of freedom means leaving the prison cells and living freely. That’s how we celebrate Christmas. That’s how we bring in a new year.
Today is New Year’s Day and the Name of Jesus. This message was adapted from “Devotions for the 12 Days of Christmas” by Lois Pallmeyer that appeared in the December 1997 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.