Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Being in Jesus’ Name
…who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being formed in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”
We are in Jesus’ name, baptized into Christ. At baptism water was poured over us with the words spoken by the presiding minister, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and then we were anointed with oil of chrism representing the gift of the Holy Spirit with the words. “You belong to Christ into whom you have been baptized. “
We are in Jesus’ name. We carry that name into world. We are “Christians” or “those of Christ.” In the days of the early church “christian’ was a term of derision. Today the term is used as a general definition often without significant attention to whether or not individuals or groups are truly Christian.
We are in Jesus’ name. We carry that name into world. We are “Christians.” We called by Christ to live holy lives, meaning that we live our lives as Christ’s faithful disciples.
We are in Jesus’ name. We carry that name into world. We are “Christians.” We do not struggle to be holy by ourselves, for God has given us the gift of grace in Christ which allows us to confess our sins and receive forgiveness. In the words of absolution the presiding minister says, “In Christ’s name I declare that your sins are forgiven.”
We are in Jesus’ name. We carry that name into world. We are “Christians.” We know that the name of Jesus is the name of hope, love, companionship, confidence, and courage. Jesus’ name is the name of life that has prevailed over death, and will prevail over our death.
During this Lenten season when we focus on Jesus’ pilgrimgage to the cross, we are to recall that we are in Jesus’ name, that we carry his name into the world, that we are called to be his witnesses through our words, actions, attitude, and that whatever name we have been given at our birth, in baptism our true name is “Christian, “ those who, at the name of Jesus, bend the knee and whose tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!
Richard Hammond Price, OCC ©March 2010