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The Feast of the Holy Name

1 January

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 1 of January, repeating indefinitely

Below you will find the Bible readings set for this occasion in the Revised Common Lectionary, with our Australian idiomatic paraphrases of them, plus prayers and sermons based on them.

Bible Readings (paraphrased)

Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary. Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts(CCT) P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.

The LORD told to Moses to pass on the following instructions to Aaron and his sons for their work as priests:

“These are the words of blessing you are to use when you bless the Israelite people:
May the LORD set you up for life and look after you;

May the LORD smile upon you and be generous to you;

May the LORD keep an eye on you
and give you a life in which all is well.
With these words you will remind my people who they belong to, and I will bless them.”

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Our LORD and ruler,
all over the world
the mere mention of your name sets hearts pounding!

Your glory fills the universe!

The gurgling of babies makes more sense
than the clever arguments of your enemies.
The innocent chatter of children
silences the venomous talk of your opponents.

When I gaze at your handiwork in the night skies
— the moon, the stars, the milky way —
the whole cosmos under your control;
I can’t help but wonder why you bother with us.
Why do you care so much for mere human beings
when we count for so little in the scheme of things?

And yet, for reasons known to you alone,
you created us almost on a par with yourself
and decorated us with the highest honours and glory.

You have even entrusted us with power over your precious creation;
you placed the future of all life in our hands:
sheep and cattle;
emu and kangaroo
insects, reptiles, birds, and sea creatures;
air, land and water and the planet itself.

Our LORD and ruler,
all over the world
the mere mention of your name sets hearts pounding!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

When the clock had run down and the time was right,
God sent a rescuer,
God’s own Son;
born to a woman in the usual way,
growing up under the thumb of the law,
just like the rest of God’s people.

God sent him into such circumstances
so that he could get everyone else out of them;
paying the price of our freedom
and giving us the opportunity
to be adopted into God’s family.

Because you are now God’s children,
the Spirit of God’s child, Jesus,
has been sent into your hearts;
the Spirit who makes us as eager for God
as children running into their parents’ arms
crying, “Daddy! Mummy!”

So you are no longer at the beck and call
of those things which once dictated your every move;
now you are God’s own children,
and as God’s children, you will receive from God
all that has been kept in trust for God’s children.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Model your attitude on the attitude of the Messiah, Jesus.

Although Jesus was the same as God in every way,
he did not think of his God-like privileges
as something to be milked for all they were worth.

Instead, he laid it all aside
and, with no more privileges than a slave,
was born as a human being.

Having become a human being,
he was the model of humility.
He didn’t demand his own way
but let God set the agenda;
even when it included his own death,
and a gruesome public death at that.

Because of all this,
God has raised him to the status of number one
and honoured him more highly
than anyone else in the universe.

So now, just the mention of the name ‘Jesus’
should bring everyone to their knees;
everyone who has ever lived or ever will.

Everyone, everywhere will honour God
by openly acknowledging
that Jesus the Messiah is Lord of all!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

When the angels went back to heaven, the shearers were left sitting there looking at one another, gob-smacked. “We’d better go and check this out,” they said. “Let’s go into town and see if we can see what’s happened, what the Lord has let us in on.”
So without messing around they headed straight into Bethlehem, and sure enough, they tracked down Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the feed trough. When they saw all this, they began telling everyone what they had heard about this child. People could hardly believe their ears when they heard what the shearers were saying. But their words were precious to Mary and she repeated them over and over in her mind, wondering what would become of it all. The shearers headed off towards their camp again – a rowdy mob, singing and shouting in the streets about how fabulous God was because of everything they had seen and heard. Everything had been just the way they had been told it would be.
Mary and Joseph followed the law and custom of their people and held a ceremony for the baby boy when he was eight days old to circumcise him and name him. They named him Jesus – the name which God’s messenger had given him before he was conceived in the womb.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers

Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
joining with the whole world
in telling of the greatness of your name.

From the moment you created and named every living thing
your handiwork has been a source of awe and wonder.
Like the moon and stars you set in place,
your face has shone upon us and blessed us with peace.

In the fullness of time you sent your Son,
born of woman and named by angels,
so that we too might be adopted by you,
and through your Spirit, the treasure of our hearts,
live worthily of the name you have given us.

Therefore with .....

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We thank you for sending your Son,
born of woman and named by angels,
so that we too might be adopted by you,
and live worthily of the name you have given us.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We join with the whole world to give you thanks and praise, O God,
and telling of the greatness of your name.

From the moment you created and named every living thing
your handiwork has been a source of awe and wonder.
Like the moon and stars you set in place,
your face has shone upon us and blessed us with peace.

In the fullness of time you sent your Son,
born of woman and named by angels,
so that we too might be adopted by you,
and through your Spirit, the treasure of our hearts,
live worthily of the name you have given us.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

When the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law,
in order to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as God’s children.

Sisters and Brothers,
  your sins are forgiven;
    be at peace.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Go now, glorifying and praising God
for all you have heard and seen.
You have been named as God’s adopted children:
Live worthily of the glory with which God has dressed you.

And may God bless you and keep you.
May Christ Jesus make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you.
And may the Spirit smile upon you and give you peace.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
   In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Sermons

Sermons will open in new tabs from our SYCBaps church website.

  1. Exchanging Gifts
    A sermon on Galatians 4: 4-7 by Nathan Nettleton

Details

Date:
1 January