January 1, 2011

Today‚s readings
Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67:2-8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

It is the first day of the year, and the very first word that I have uttered is „Jesus.‰

Jesus is the Word made flesh (Jn 1:14a). Jesus is the reason for every season. Jesus is the reason for whom we live and die. Jesus is the name that we proclaim. His is „the name that is above every name‰ (Phil 2:9a).

„Jesus‰ means „Yahweh saves.‰ Such was the name given by the angel to Joseph: „you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.‰ (Mt 1:21). „But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.‰ (Gal 4:4-5). We know that Jesus went on to the cross, precisely to fulfill his calling and the Father‚s plan of salvation. Thus he made it possible that „everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.‰ (Rom 10:13).

„But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent?‰ (Rom 10:14-15a). This is the reason God sends us. As disciples of Jesus, we are to „go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.‰ (Mk 16:15). This is our task. This is our reason for being.

If we obey the commission to preach his name, and do it rapidly and massively throughout the whole world, then Jesus will indeed be glorified. Our goal is „that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those 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.‰ (Phil 2:10-11).

We are Couples for Christ. We exist for Jesus. Our very first Core Value is „Centered on Christ.‰ This Core Value underpins all the others. It is the very foundation of our life and work. It keeps us focused and persevering on the way we are to go.

Just like the shepherds, we have been told about this child (Lk 2:17). We have been blessed in all that we have „heard and seen‰ about Jesus, and we rightly glorify and praise God (Lk 2:20). „God, our God, blesses us.‰ (Ps 67:7b). Now we continue to proclaim him to the world, so that „all who (hear) it (will be) amazed by what (is) told them‰ (Lk 2:18). What we have experienced, we want the world to experience. The gift we have received, we want others to have as well. We desire that his „rule be known upon the earth, (his) saving power among all the nations.‰ (Ps 67:3).

We desire to win this world for Jesus! „May the nations be glad and shout for joy; May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you!‰ (Ps 67:5a,6).

God has blessed us all of almost 30 years. Now we have a new year in which we again have the privilege to love and serve the Lord Jesus. Let us not waste any moment of it. „May God bless us still; that the ends of the earth may revere our God.‰ (Ps 67:8).

Thank you for all the work and sacrifices you did last year. I continue to look forward to our working together for the glory of God. Have a joyful and Spirit-filled new year.

I invoke the Aaronic blessing upon you all.

„The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!‰
(Num 6:24-26)

And always remember: „he was named Jesus‰ (Lk 2:21).

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