...being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11
In the year 2007, the 15 most popular names given to baby boys were: Jacob, Michael, Ethan, Joshua, Daniel, Christopher, Anthony, William, Matthew, Andrew, Alexander, David, Joseph, Noah, and James. Most of those names come from the Bible.
Indeed, as I think back, I can remember baptizing a number of lads who were given those names.
On the other hand, I don't ever remember baptizing a baby whom the parents decided to name, "Diocletian."
That's kind of surprising. After all, at one time the emperor Diocletian was the most powerful man in the world. One of the richest, too.
In the battle for names, a person might think Diocletian should have the upper hand. Diocletian certainly thought so. A hater of the Savior, Diocletian once set up a stone monument on which he had these words inscribed: "For Having Exterminated The Name Christians From the Earth." That's the way he wanted to be remembered.
If Diocletian were given a glimpse of our present world, he would probably be surprised to find that Jesus has outlasted him, his armies, and his empire.
How could it be otherwise? Through His sacrifice, the sinless Son of God has given all believers salvation. Jesus' humble and horrible death on the cross was the price that has given us forgiveness and changed our eternal destinies.
Because Jesus is God's great Gift of grace it is right for us to exalt Him, praise Him, honor Him. As St. Paul wrote, 'at the Savior's Name every knee should bow... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.'
This is precisely what we have done with our Resurrection Sunday celebrations. It is what we should do every day.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I give thanks for Your Son's sacrifice. When He came to be One of us, He humbled Himself. In His life, in His death, He showed how much You cared. Now bless the sharing of His story so every tongue may confess Him Lord and Savior. In His Name. Amen.
By God's grace, this devotion is freely shared with you. Still, I don't know all the people who need it or should read it. Won't you forward it to that someone? Just click the "Forward this devotion to a friend" link below. You can also direct them to sign up for the DD's at: http://www.lhm.org/email/register.asp.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries