“Circumcision and Name Both Say ‘Savior'” (Luke 2:21)

Circumcision and Name of Jesus
Sunday, January 1, 2012

“Circumcision and Name Both Say ‘Savior’” (Luke 2:21)

Today is New Year’s Day, a day for looking forward to the year that lies ahead. It’s a day for plans and goals and New Year’s resolutions. “This is the year, finally, when I will get my weight under control, or when I will start exercising more regularly, or when I start being more faithful in my daily devotions.” All well and good. These can be good goals to have. January 1, 2012. This is also a day when we begin a new chapter in the life of our church. How is this dual-parish thing going to work out? How will we have to adjust to make it work? This is a day, New Year’s Day, for looking ahead to our family’s future. Will we have enough money this year as a family, as a household? Do we need to do better on our budget? And what about our nation? This is an election year, 2012 is. How will the elections affect our future?

Maybe all of these things fill us with fear and trepidation, at what might happen. Maybe they fill us with some degree of hope and optimism, that there could be some improvement ahead. Maybe it’s a mixed bag. The future is always an uncertain thing.

But there is one thing that is certain, no matter the day or the year. And that is, who will see us through the days and years ahead. It is none other than the good God himself, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our God will see us through. In him we have hope and confidence to face the future, come what may. And now today I want to tell you why you can be sure of his help. It’s based upon what else this day is, besides being New Year’s Day.

Today is the eighth day of Christmas, and therefore it is the day when the church celebrates two events that go together, the circumcision of our Lord and the giving of his name, Jesus. Both of these events happened on the same day, this day, the eighth day, exactly one week after the birth of Christ. Both of these events, the circumcision and the naming, are recorded in the Holy Gospel for today, which is the shortest Gospel reading in the whole series of readings. It’s just one verse, Luke 2:21: “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” Just one verse, but it speaks volumes. For both Christ’s circumcision and his very name, Jesus, tell us much about who he is–who he is for us. And so our theme today: “Circumcision and Name Both Say ‘Savior.’”

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Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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