December 21, 2018 – Our Name
Father in heaven, our sins plague us. They ruin our reputations. They should cast us away from you forever. Yet you are good and merciful. Help us find peace and comfort in Jesus. Amen.
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
When I was growing up, I had a nickname. And I hated it. I had a nickname and it had to do with something silly that I had done. Even today, I can run into a classmate who remembers my nickname and also what silly and sinful thing I had done.
Sin does that. It sticks to us and it follows us. It’s why it comes so natural to us to remember the sins of Matthew; we know him as Matthew, the tax-collector. It’s how we know Rahab. She is Rahab, the prostitute. We know them by their sin, by the way that they failed.
Sin sticks to us. Our sins and our past follow us around like stink on a pig. Even if our sin never becomes part of our name, it becomes part of the way that people remember us. Sin sticks to us and it never seems to leave. Parents bring up the past failures of their kids. Kids bring up the past failures of their parents. Spouses through accusations and past sins back and forth in arguments. The same happens with our co-workers, our friends.
Sin sticks to us and it keeps coming up even though people tell us that they forgive us. Even though people tell us that they let it go.
The same is even more true in our own hearts and minds. We’ve sinned in some massive ways and even if no one else remembers, we do. Our consciences have a really good memory of our sins and a really bad memory of God’s grace.
And the devil will leverage that. See, he knows our name, but he will call us by our sin. He’s Joe, the too-busy-for-his-wife-and-kids. He’s Stevey, the hot-head. She’s Agnus, the worrier. She’s Martha, the disrespectful. He’ll even add adjectives: the baddad, the disobedient child, the short-temperedmom, the inadequate employee. He loves to call us by our sin.
But then Jesus comes and gives us a new name. His name. Yes, he knows our sins and what we’ve done better than we do. But he isn’t keeping track. If he was, we could never be able to stand before him. With him, however, there is forgiveness (cf. Psalm 130:3-4).
He calls us child of the heavenly Father.
He calls us his brother.
He declares us holy, forgiven, perfect.
And so we can tell that ole Devil to shut his stinking mouth because the name that Jesus gives us is better and more powerful than the Devil’s accusation. We can stick our fingers in our ears when the Devil talks, because only the words and the forgiveness of Jesus matters.
Additional Reading: Psalm 103
1. Look up when each family member was baptized.
2. God says this about our baptism: “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”(Galatians 3:27). What did God do for you when you were baptized?
Have you invited them yet? If you have, way to go!
If you haven’t, now is the time. Send them an email or a text. Get on Facebook @theMountMKE and share our Christmas events with them along with a note – we’d love to see you there.
1. Read Psalm 103. Pick out your favorite verse that describes how God sees you in Christ and because of your baptism.
2. Why did you pick that verse?
Gracious Lord, by the atoning work of Jesus you have given us a new name: your children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus. We are holy and perfect in your sight clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Help us live as your holy children and give your name honor in all we do. Amen.