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01 January 2009
  The Circumcision and Name of Jesus
1 January, New Testament

Circumcision of Our LordThis major feast day of the Christian Church marks the infant Jesus' eighth day of life. At this time, the Law required all boys of Israel to be circumcised (cf. Genesis 17:9-14; Leviticus 12:1-3).

On this day, our Savior also received His name (Luke 2:21). This fulfilled the command given to both Mary (Luke 1:31) and Joseph (Matthew 1:21) during their angelic visitations.

Christ's circumcision placed Him fully under God's Law. His name Jesus, from the Hebrew "Joshua" (meaning "Yahweh saves" or "He saves"), bespeaks the purpose for which He assumed human flesh and came to live among us.

IHSFor more on this Christological feast, including the reason for using this particular date for the remembrance, please see On the Eighth Day of Christmas and Christianity and New Year's Day at Ask the Pastor, Jesus! from Rev. Cwirla's Blogosphere, and the 1 January 2007 entry from Jay Winters' Saints and Days: The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus.

Lection

Psalm 8
Numbers 6:22-27
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 2:21

Collect

Lord God, You made Your beloved Son, our Savior, subject to the Law and caused Him to shed His blood on our behalf. Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit that our hearts may be made pure from all sins; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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