Glencairn Methodist Church
"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived." (Luke 2:21)
Jesus was circumcised in accordance with the Law of Moses and with the Covenant made by God with Abraham. Circumcision was the mark in the flesh that signified that the boy was considered to be one of God's chosen people. God promised to be their God as long as the people continued to be His people, to obey His laws and to follow him. Sadly the people rebelled on many occasions and so God promised a new covenant through His prophet Jeremiah: "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time, I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
This New Covenant came with the coming of Jesus Christ.
January 1st is the "eighth day" - a week after Christmas, and the Church celebrates The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus. Jesus is a child of the Old Covenant but is the harbinger of the New Covenant wherein all who believe in Jesus and follow him are assured of the blessings of God, including eternal life. On this day, the Methodist Church holds a Covenant Service wherein members are invited to renew their commitment to Jesus with the words below. Can you make these promises?
"I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full. Let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen."
May you have a blessed New Year and resolve to follow the Lord faithfully and to serve him.