She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
What’s in a name? When informed that her heartthrob Romeo was from the despised Montague clan, Juliet famously said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Sometimes names lack significance, but in the Bible, most names are packed with meaning, displaying the character or prophesying the destiny of the one so named. When the Christmas Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, he was instructed “you are to give him the name Jesus.”
This was the perfect name. Derived from the Hebrew “Yehoshua” (Joshua), the name means “the Lord is Salvation.” This is what Jesus came to do: to save people from their sins. It is the very purpose of Christmas. He is not merely the bringer of salvation, but he is salvation itself – “The Lord IS Salvation.” By the end of Matthew’s Gospel, the unfolding story becomes clear. At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples that his blood is “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
This Christmas Eve, we will hear the salvation story in an altogether fresh way as we gather to celebrate in the most beautiful service of the year.
Here are two challenges:
First, invite friends or family to come to church with you. This is the perfect time to expose people to the grace of our Lord Jesus. The service always ends within the hour, the songs are familiar, the candles are beautiful, and the message is a simple devotional entitled, “The Christmas Touch.” We have two services on Christmas Eve, 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Secondly, I want to encourage you to bless the body of the Lord Jesus, his church, with a gift.
This old cartoon says it all.
Please consider giving an offering to Christ Himself at Christmas to celebrate His birthday. The money is then used strategically for the work of His mission on Earth. I know that you are bombarded with requests to give to a number of causes over the holiday season. Many might be worthy, but there is nothing like supporting the Lord through his church. When we give, we are most like God, who is the giver of every good gift.
Christmas is and always has been about giving. Thank you in advance for remembering your church! Your end of year gift will make a huge difference in our ministry.
On behalf of the entire staff here at Crosswalk, I want to wish you a most blessed celebration of our Savior’s birth, and a New Year filled with grace and truth.
Love in the Lord,