Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading for the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus is extremely short, at just one verse. But what an action packed verse!
First, the date given is eight days after Jesus' birth. We recall that everything was created in six days and that God commended the seventh day as a day of rest. Work started up again on the eighth day. This is probably why God has people circumcised on the eighth day. It's time to rise up and get back to work! Here, in Luke 2, Jesus, the Son of Man, is brought out and shown to be busy about his work, even though he is still an infant.
Jesus' work is twofold. First, he is circumcised. He is counted as part of God's covenant people. He takes his role as the Son of Man. Second, he is given the name Jesus, which means "God Saves." This is the name which was appointed for him. Every time someone uses his name, there's a proclamation of God's ability to save us from sin.
God the Son is no longer a stranger to us. He has come to carry on the work of God, a work of redeeming the world, presenting us to God without sin or stain. In our lives, then, we pray the Lord would continue what he has begun, redeeming us together to be in God's presence.
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