Reflections on the Collect for Jan 1: The Holy Name

sea-dawn-sky-sunsetThis is a reflection on the collect for January 1, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, from the Book of Common Prayer.

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

—Collect for The Holy Name
from Collects: Contemporary, The Online Book of Common Prayer

What does it mean for Jesus to be “the sign of our salvation”? Is it merely a way of avoiding Hell? A mantra by which to comfort ourselves in tough times? Someone to thank when things go well? And why plant it in every heart?

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Reflections on the Collect for Jan 1: The Holy Name