Daily Devotion 20 February 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Colossians 3: 16-17 ‘All in Jesus’ Name’

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

What is in a name? The names given us at birth usually stay with us throughout our lives, unless we choose to change them by deed poll. Their meanings are important and names are often parents’ favourites or in memory of family members gone before. In some parts of the world, it is common for boys to be given the same first names as their father. Of course, some of us have nicknames from school, college or our family and it would be fascinating to hear some, or perhaps, maybe not!

Luke tells us in Chapter 2 when Jesus was named: “the name the angel had given him before he was conceived” (2:21). The name Jesus comes from a Hebrew root meaning ‘to deliver or rescue’. Various other names that come to mind for Jesus Christ are ‘shepherd’, ‘rock’, and ‘redeemer’ and we can think of others. They will all mean different emotions to us, hopefully as as a source of strength and comfort.

Caroline Maria Noel was the daughter of a vicar and the last 25 years of her life were spent with increasing illness and she was largely bedridden. She wrote many poems and from one of them we have what has evolved into a very well-known hymn. The first two verses are:

At the name of Jesus,
every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him
King of Glory now.
‘Tis the Father’s pleasure
we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning
was the mighty Word.
Humbled for a season,
to receive a name
from the lips of sinners
unto whom he came.
Faithfully he bore it
spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious
when from death he passed.

Miss Noel had much stacked against her, but her work was published as ‘The Name of Jesus and Other Verses for the Sick and Lonely’ to encourage herself and others in the same condition as her. She showed that what we do in Jesus’ name must be done in accordance with his will. It puts restraints on us, but then as one commentator, Derrick Greeves, has said: ‘he is backing us, we have his support, and the very thought of his name brings us into his presence’ 1. It is such a lovely thought. Maybe, like me you are now humming the tune?!

Prayer:

Help us, Lord, to act in your name,
that we may reflect your nature in all we say and do,
so that others may come to know you
as their Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2021 Matthew Earl.
Image freely available online.
Hymn no longer in copyright.
1. Derrick Greeves, © 1980, ‘Preaching Through St. Paul’.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356