I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ.
How important is a name? It is our identity. In a roomful of chattering teachers we will hear and pick out our name mentioned above other words. When people we admire call us by name it gives us a lift. When we receive letters, e-mails, cards or even notes addressed to us it makes us feel wanted, special. It builds up a relationship between ourselves and the one addressing us.
We know all our family and friends by names. Sometimes we use our own variations of that name to indicate a deeper, more intimate relationship.
Is it the same when we refer to our Lord by name?
Why was this name given to this baby born of humble parents, born in strange circumstances and forced into exile under threat of his life?
Jesus was not an uncommon name but it was given by design – indicating the special relationship he would carry between Yahweh – God and man. His role was to deliver and save.
Jesus, the man, was also given the title Christ meaning anointed one. Under the law, prophets, kings and priests were anointed as a sign of their duty and status. Jesus’ role on earth was as prophet or teacher, king or deliverer of the Jews and priest and teacher of the new order.
He was anointed by God: but not a limited measure from a physical container. God poured out his spirit upon Jesus at his baptism. Signified in the form of a dove, spoken by God, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” heard by a nation who had long expected his coming, and yet rejected him even though they witnessed the healing and power of God daily during His ministry.
He was anointed by others: first in the gift of frankincense offered at his birth. A fragrant offering already setting this child apart as holy or set aside for a purpose.
He was anointed during his ministry: not by religious leaders but by those that recognised their failures and humbly ministered to the minister. This Christ was anointed like no other, not in a priestly or kingly anointing of the head, but in the ordinary task of washing of feet – a ritual of hospitality, kindliness and subjugation to another.
Jesus’ body was anointed hastily and secretly after his death. An earthly king is anointed to establish his position and supremacy over his subjects; Jesus was anointed to establish his subjection to the power of death so that his creation, his people may reign with Him eternally.
Today, Jesus, my Lord and Saviour I acknowledge you and declare my faith in you.
Thank you that you lived on earth and knew the beauty, sadness, delight and disappointments of humanity and as such can show us how to meet the challenges of life with dignity and truth.
Thank you that even though you are King you became obedient and gave up your life to save me and restore me.
Today let me not only pray the creed but live it acknowledging you as my Lord and Saviour.