Glencairn Methodist Church
A Happy New Year to all our readers!
New Year's Day, January 1st, is the 8th Day of Christmas, and the Church celebrates 1/1 as the Festival of The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus.
Jesus was a Jew and in accord with Jewish custom and to fulfil the requirement of God's Covenant with Abraham and his descendents, Jesus was circumcised: "This is my covenant with you and with your descendents after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised....For generations to come every male among who is eight days old must be circumcised." [Genesis 17:10]
God's side of the bargain was this: "I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendents after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendents after you." [Genesis 17:7]
Jesus was a child of this covenant.
Jesus was also named on the 8th day: "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]
And why did the angel give Mary this instruction? The answer is in Luke 1:31-32: "But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.' "
The name "Jesus" means "Saviour" and when we accept Jesus as our saviour by believing and trusting in him, then we too become children of the new covenant with God. It is good to know that the God of all the world is our God, that Jesus is God's Son and that through believing in Jesus we have reconciliation with god and the promise of eternal life.
If you are baptised, then you also have been named. Always remember that the name or names you have been given are your Christian names and that you carry the mark of Christ's cross on your forehead.
(3 January 2007)
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm