I hope you had a big celebration last night and stayed up past midnight to see in the big holiday today. Namely, the commemoration of the circumcision and naming of Jesus, a ceremony that took place one week after His birth. To honor the occasion–and, oh, yes, it’s also New Year’s Day, isn’t it?–I am reposting something I wrote back in 2009:
Today is. . . the ancient feast celebrating The Circumcision and Name of Jesus. The week after Christmas, the Christchild was circumcised, thus taking upon Himself the fulfillment of the Law, a rite in which He was also officially given His name.
“Jesus” means “God saves” (literally, to put it even stronger, “YHWH saves”). Notice how the very name of Jesus attests to His divinity and to the Gospel.
Several years ago, we went to church on New Years Day and heard one of the most memorable sermons on the Name of Jesus. The pastor went through the different places in the Bible that talks about doing things “in the name of Jesus,” then bringing in the meaning of that name, that God saves. We are told to pray in the name of Jesus, because “God saves” gives us full access to the Father. When even two or three meet in the name of Jesus, He is with them, because “God saves” makes a new kind of worship possible. Disciples could cast out demons in Jesus’ name; that is, in the reality that “God saves.” At the name of Jesus, “God saves,” every knee shall bow and every tongue that Jesus is LORD. (Try that correlation yourself in your own devotions.)
via The Name of Jesus.
This is also a fitting contemplation for the new year ahead. So happy New Year’s, everybody! May 2015 be a good and blessed year for all of you!.