On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. (Luk 2:21 NIV)
There is no doubt that the name of our Lord Jesus derives directly from the heart of the triune God. Not the archangel Gabriel chose that name. He was tasked to communicated that name to the blessed Virgin Mary in good time. This name is worthy of the named and the originator too. It’s a beautiful name in sound and content. It is worthy to be mentioned at every worship, during every prayer and each and every devotional. The omniscient God, whose wisdom and knowledge surpasses all, chose this name to communicate all that he ever wanted to give and grant us in his most beloved and dear Son Jesus Christ. We can therefore find all and everything in this precious name Jesus.
This lovely name, which sprouts directly from the very heart of God, was revealed by the godly angels, heard initially by the dear and most blessed Virgin Mary and learnt by the ancient Church on the very day of our Lord’s circumcision. This is the name for the newly born saviour of the world. That is the name the Church venerates, worships and glorifies above all in its prayers and devotions. It is repeated often every day, countless times across the world. It is the most holy and precious and wonderful and blessed and effective name known to mankind. This very name also opens up the gate of the new year 2014. It is the first name Christians aught to learn. It is the last name they pray with dying voices. It’s the last name we hear when we die and the first name we’ll perceive, realize and experience in eternity. It’s the very essence and sum of all our praises and glorifications here and in our home in heaven. May it resound this year from day to day, from hour to hour! May it be magnified on earth and let all the lands be filled with his glory so that finally all may join us in singing: Glory be to Jesus Christ + Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, let your name shine over and above all this coming year with its tasks and works that you have prepared for your children to do and accomplish. Grant that your history will cover all the sins of your children, that your today will rule their present life and that the eternity deriving from you will enlighten and permeate them until we all may worship and praise your glorious and holy name beholding you as you are. Amen. (Hermann Bezzel)
1 Jesus! Name of wondrous love! Name all other names above! Unto which must every knee Bow in deep humility.
2 Jesus! Name decreed of old: To the maiden mother told, Kneeling in her lowly cell, By the angel Gabriel.
3 Jesus! Name of priceless worth To the fallen sons of earth, For the promise that it gave– “Jesus shall His people save.”
4 Jesus! Name of mercy mild, Given to the holy Child, When the cup of human woe First He tasted here below.
5 Jesus! only Name that’s given, Under all the mighty heaven, Whereby man, to sin enslaved, Bursts his fetters, and is saved.
6 Jesus! Name of wondrous love! Human Name of God above; Pleading only this we flee, Helpless, O our God, to Thee. (William W. How, 1823-1897)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the first day of the year during the high holiday of Christmas. It is found on Pg. 42 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.