Illustration: “The Circumcision,” by Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, c. 1739-1774. Oil on canvas.
This day the world is getting ready to usher in a new year. Parties are being planned, clothes are being laid out and reservations are made. But so many of those party-goers never give any thought to what the Church is preparing for.
The circumcision and naming of Jesus is probably one of the lesser known and celebrated festivals of the Church Year. But it is one infinite importance. Jesus’ circumcision tells us many things. He is a child of Abraham. His parents observe the law for Him and bring him to the mohel, the “circumciser” and Jesus sheds His first blood for us.
Yes, for us. For Him to be the Lamb of God, he must be blemish free, and ironically, to be blemish free is to be cut upon, to shed blood, to observe the law, so that when he sheds His blood on the cross for us, “it is finished.”
And his name is Y’shua, “He saves.” It is by that name that we enter into the presence of God. When Mary followed Gabriel’s command and named her baby Y’shua, she set into motion the events we await.
Prayer: Father, thank you for keeping all Your promises to me. This year, with Your help, I want to keep all my promises to You.
As We Wait: As you make your plans for the new year, start with a worship service and celebrate the real reason we have so much joy. And Happy New Year.