Sermon Introduction –
We learn a new name for God in the Christmas story: Jesus. But God also calls each and every one of us by name. What does it mean to be called by God? What does it mean to have God know your name?
Introduction to this week’s readings –
“Rejoice always,” begins the reading from 1 Thessalonians. Isaiah and the psalmist make clear that God is turning our mourning into laughter and shouts of joy. “All God’s children got a robe,” go the words of a spiritual. It is not so much a stately, formal, pressed outfit as it is a set of party clothes, clothes we are happy to wear. We receive that robe in baptism, and in worship we gather for a foretaste of God’s party.