On January 1st we observe the festival of “The Circumcision and Name of Jesus”. God commanded Abraham that on the eighth day after birth every male child would be circumcised. This was a sign of the covenant that God “marked” them as His people. The Israelites were to observe this practice as it would be a seal in flesh of this covenant promise (Genesis 17:10-14). At this time, the child was also given his name. In Christ, God became flesh to free humanity from the corruption of sin under the law’s demand. This was the first place the law took hold of God’s Son marking Him as the promise sent from the Father. He fulfilled this part of God’s law for us when His sinless flesh was cut as a child. He was given the name Jesus, which means Savior. Joseph was told by an Angel in a dream what to name the child when in fear of taking Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20-21). This festival observes the first shedding of Jesus blood for us, in compliance to the law of God. Later on the cross, our Savior would shed His blood to the fullest point possible giving His very life for our salvation. This festival just happens to fall when all over the world are celebrating a new year. It carries a lot of meaning for us, since this is the initial time the Savior’s blood would be shed showing sins could be washed away and forgiven in His Name. The Sacrament of Baptism has replaced circumcision with the “mark” of being God’s people in Christ (Colossians 2:11-15). This water does not cut flesh, but goes straight to the heart with the Word of promise. We arise every day in faith as a new creation by the grace poured out from God by the Gospel.
Scripture Readings for this day– O/T: Numbers 6:22-27
Epistle: Galatians 3:23-29 Gospel: Luke 2:21