Welcome to our Lord’s House of Prayer!
As the world celebrates, we join with them,
but most importantly we also recall the Circumcision of our Lord.
As believers and servants of our Lord, tonight we worship God as we partake of His Body and Blood.
This night/day we come to the Circumcision of our Lord, at which time he is given the Name of Jesus…
which when translated from its Hebrew term (ye-shu-ah) meaning
(God is) salvation.
We understand that we are not just to be happy and giddy and on an emotional high during this time of year,
but we are to take seriously our “Faith”
which requires obedience to God, service to others, and an unwavering faith which is strong enough
to withstand the “bad things” that often happen to Christians individually or within their families and lives: even, the end of their life.
In the OT the word mul is used thirty times and refers to the ritual act of circumcision.
In Genesis we read that God says to Abraham: (Genesis 17:10-14)
“This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you;
Every male child among you shall be circumcised…and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you…
And he who is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations.”
In the New Testament circumcision is further explained by Paul in Romans (Rom 3:30)
“Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith,
and un-circumcision through faith.”
So, if we be circumcised or uncircumcised (Jew or Gentile) it is Faith, that was to be, and is today, the supreme act within our lives.
In Col 2:11 Paul also says: “ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,
in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh”;
thus, Circumcision was a symbolic and bloody cleansing of the body of sin.
But in the case of this baby, who is the Son of God and of Mary, he had no sin –
but rather He was the Destined Healer of sin for others.
For the Angel did say to Joseph “He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21)
Tonight/day let us recall the words of Simeon, who was lead to the temple by the spirit,
and as he took the baby Jesus into his arms he proclaims
“Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart In peace,
according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou has prepared before the face of all people;
a light – – – to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory – – – of thy people Israel (LK 2:29-32.)
(words which we proclaim almost daily in our evening prayers)
In the Collect we ask “Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; …
that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will.”
And The Epistle tells us “GOD also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Finally, in the Gospel we read “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child,
his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
This day, January 1st – 2019 (some two thousand years later) –
are we now ready to take upon us,
in spirit and truth,
the name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour?
This name Jesus – given to this child was in obedience from an expressed command from heaven (by the Angel Gabriel) –
are we now ready, you and I, to finally accept in obedience
this expressed command from heaven?
Each one of us has to make this choice –
accept JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WAYS
or deny him and accept the ways of the world.
In the late 2nd century St. Irenaeus wrote that
“God gave circumcision as a sign,
not as the completion of righteousness.”
For it is through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that we complete our righteousness;
it comes not through the “hands of man”, but through
the hands of Grace and Faith
in which our souls, and our lives, be made righteous.
On this day – as the secular world swim within the garbage it has made, let us walk this day with Jesus.
Come forward and feed upon His Power and Might to overcome the evil (the darkness) of this world.
This circumcision of Jesus, this spilling of blood, will not be his last.
This little baby whose birth we have recently celebrated, and who is
given the name of Jesus this day,
is the same Jesus who will shed His blood
to become a propitiation for all our sins.
It is He who will return us to our “at-one-ness” with God.
It is through this Child,
given the name Jesus,
that God truly revealed His Salvation to His people and to this world.
Let us go forth this night/day in His Name.