In the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and let every tongue confess that he Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10
(II, ii, 1-2) The power of knowing somebody’s name is very real. Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), when training his army of salesmen, used to make the first lesson that of learning the customer’s name. ‘Say it three times in the first two minutes and you’ve got them’, he would say. In the Old Testament knowing somebody’s name was a very big thing indeed the major revelation of the Old Testament was not so much a great miracle of the parting of a sea but the revelation of the actual name of God. The idea was that if you had God’s actual name then you somehow had his particular attention. Of course in the Old Testament this was so powerful that it had to be covered up and pretty soon the people of Israel forgot how to say the name of God. Probably just as well. In the New Testament the revelation to us of what the Saviour’s name was very important. It’s a bit like pass the parcel. Now that we’ve got the name what are we doing with it?
You might be surprised but one of the first shocks to the system I received when moving to Britain was the mouths on the school children. To be quite honest, and coming from a country that was always, shall we say, a bit colorful in it’s language, I was shocked. Now I’m not known for the subtlest of expression but the average British School child is really capable of coloring the air a shade of blue; particularly when the sacred name of our Lord is involved. Of course one of the greatest tragedies today is that you can profane the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ in a thousand ways and not an eye will not blink. However if you dare to even mention the name of someone else less than successful of some centuries later and then you risk imprisonment. Surely it’s time to reclaim some ground here?
Of course profanity is not a new problem however it’s one that we need to be very careful of these days. We need to make sure we are protecting our own territory and we protect it first not from other’s abuse but also from own misuse. So the question for today is; Do we really honour the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ in our day to day speech. Are we careful that we honour our Lord by the respectful use of his Holy Name? Wandering the ports of maritime France in the late 18th century the Jesuit Luigi Felici (fl. 1790s) was worried by the profanities he heard coming from the sailors’s mouths. He set to write a prayer that would counteract those curses and it’s that prayer that we might use frequently as a remedy to our own failings today. It’s start’s with Blessed be God. Blessed be His Holy Name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man. And for today; Blessed be the name of Jesus.