A Church with a Heart for our Community

July 10th Friday

Greetings in the name of ‘I am going to call him, “Jesus”‘ (Matthew 1:21), Jesus Christ – THE Crucified and Risen Saviour! What a beautiful morning in the Kingdom! I trust that you have had a grand week of adventures, opportunities, challenges, and simple delights. I pray that you are excited, or at least expectant, about gathering with your church family to celebrate “Jesus” and spend time with God’s people. Today I will be praying for you, asking Father to meet your needs today in unexpected ways and awesome means.

I am thinking about that name – “Jesus” – this morning. “Jesus” quietly and gently assumes a prominent place in your life without you even realizing it at times. On Monday noon hour 10 or 12 of us gathered to pray for our city…in the name of Jesus. Then on Tuesday, as I facilitated a ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony, the strongest comfort that I could give the family was the name, “Jesus” and all the power  that goes with the name. Once again at a prayer gathering, this time Wednesday, the name of “Jesus’ was invoked for the church family and friends. Last night at our ISOM’s class, the name of “Jesus” hovered in our minds as we concluded that any situation where Jesus was not present would be classified as ‘hopeless’. Now, this morning the name “Jesus” appears on the daily calendar. When the mornings worship music started to fill our home, the name of “Jesus” was sung out again and again.

I begin to let Holy Spirit do his thing and I am reminded of how the name – “Jesus” – has affected history. Earlier in the week I was reading a report on the expected decline of the church’s role in Canadian society and how the name “Jesus” was fading away. Therefore, God started to re-establish the church and the name “Jesus” by bringing immigrants from Europe and Asia and South America to Canada. As they come, their faith in the name “Jesus” comes with them and the sleeping church is awakened. One of my hymn books has a section of songs focused on the “name of Jesus’ and so I look at lyrics written by John Newton, Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, Lydia Baxter, Will Brand, John Gowans, Bill & Gloria Gaither, and others who are simply singing about “Jesus” …”There’s just something about that name!”

Even when “Jesus” is used as a curse or swear word, there is an unstated expression that that name “Jesus” could make a difference in a life moment…somebody’s calling out for ‘help’ and they don’t even realize that they are speaking the ‘name’ of the One who can make a difference. No wonder that Karl Barth – a prominent Swiss theologian, when asked what his greatest revelation on Christian faith was that he could pass along, simply said: “Jesus loves me, this I know.” No wonder that the Christian faith starts and will end with the name of “Jesus” – from the moment we ask “Jesus” to enter our hearts and take control to the moment we give our hand to him and say, “Jesus” lead me through the valley of the shadow of death. There is a song we sing that says – “Jesus, be the centre of it all”, and it is a comfortable prayer expressed, but the reality is – He is the centre of it all! – like it or not, want him or not, believe in him or not, worship him or not, use his name as a prayer or a praise or a swear word, acknowledge his control or not….the name “Jesus” carries the authority of God!

Be blessed!