The angelic message for December 16, the third Sunday of Advent, is “Give him the name Jesus,” These words, found in Matthew 1:21, were spoken to Joseph, the father of Jesus. They mirror the message from the angel Gabriel to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Luke chapter 1.
The “Oxford Companion to the Bible” reminds us that “Throughout the Bible, names are full of meaning. Scholars have long recognized that both for ancient Israel and the ancient Near East as well as for early Judaism and Christianity, the name of a person, place, or thing was somehow connected to and descriptive of its essence and/or personality. Thus names of individuals expressed their personality and status or nature.” In the case of Jesus, which means God saves, this was especially true.
As important, interesting and time consuming naming a child is, the time spent in naming a child pales in comparison to the time spent in raising a child. The time spent in naming a child is but a brief prelude to the time spent in the full symphony of nurturing a child.
In my sermon I want to pay attention to the responsibility of those who name children and the plight of those who care for children. As part of my sermon we will hear from a child care professional who will talk about the demands of their job and the ways in which they could be treated more justly by society. Again, in our society it is often the case that great attention is given to naming a child when scant attention is given to the well being of those who nurture children.
Prayers of the Congregation
- Lorraine and Linda Weese on the death of their son and brother, Jack Weese (on November 18)
- Thanksgiving with Virginia Cheatham that she has been able to be in church regularly
- Karen Hopkins for her brother Jeff and family
- Thanksgiving with Leona Sims that she was able to go out for breakfast with Larry for his birthday
- Ruth Ann Crawford – Peace in our beloved city
- Virginia McClow – Wisdom for all elected officials
- Darnell Sins for James Everett and family
- Sybil Alexander for her family, friends and for a person whose name she does not know but asked her for prayer
- Kimberly Williams- Hope for all the families of Oakland
- Peg Shaw for Bill and Paul
- Waltee Douglas for her family
- Patricia Butterfield for Winnie and all Grand Lake Gardens community
- Sheryl Gattey for her mother
- Rowena Jackson for the mentally ill homeless
- Carol Leichter for Steve
- Sharon Godon-Greer for her husband
- Cynthia Nelson
- A just peace in the Middle East
- A just peace in the Congo
- The displaced citizens of the Kachin and Shan States in Myanmar (Burma)
- Thanksgiving for a beautiful “Singing the Season” service
- Gloria and Phil Meads for those who are looking for work and those who are ill
- Sandra Dunn for her father
- Rae Rita Thompson for her father
Thanks to all who are participating in our Adopt A Family Christmas ministry. All the tags are taken but you if you didn’t get a tag you can still help by purchasing a gift card to a grocery store and bringing it to church with you on Sunday.
I encourage you to put your Christmas cards and greetings to our church family on the Christmas tree in the Narthex.
Needed for the Children’s Christmas Play (It would be great to have these by this Saturday’s play practice)
- Music Box (One that plays Christmas music would be ideal)
- Cash Register (or anything that has a chi ching sound on it)