Wednesday of Sexagesima

Daily Lectionary: Zechariah 14:1-21; Titus 2:7-3:15

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks. (Small Catechism, Second Commandment)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Often Christians turn up their noses when they hear unbelievers using Jesus' name like a cuss word. That should bother us. If we truly believed what the Name of Jesus is all about--Yahweh saves--we would be much more careful about how we use His name. But even more than just "not cussing," do you pray? Do you pray and call upon Jesus in every trouble? Do you give thanks? The misuse of God's name isn't just using badly; it's not using it like we should!

For our misuse and lack-of-use of God's name, it's a good thing God has a name! It's a good thing Jesus is named "Jesus. Joshua. Yahweh saves." Like the angel told Joseph, it's because He will save His people from their sins. Everything that Jesus is and does is right there in His name: He is Yahweh, the "I AM." He saves.

That teaches us it would be silly to use Jesus' name as a curse word. He isn't the cursing and damning God. He's the saving God. Here is name for you to call upon in every trouble. "Save us, Jesus!" Here is a name in which to pray. "In Jesus' name we pray!" Here is the name in which we praise God. "Praise Jesus, for saving us!" Here is the Name by which we give thanks to God. "Thank you, Jesus, for saving us and forgiving us." This is the Name into which you are baptized. It is the Name by which your pastor absolves you. It is the Name which declares that His Word does what it says, delivering His very Body and Blood to eat and drink just as He says.

The Second Commandment teaches us repentance for misusing God's name while at the same time teaching us the treasure His Name is. After all, His Name teaches us that He saves us from our sins. Even our sins against the Second Commandment, against that very Name! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believer's ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, And drives away our fear. (How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds, LSB 524:1)

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