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 three-year lectionary.
Our Old Testament reading for January 1, the Circumcision and Naming of Christ, is from Numbers 6:22-27. In this passage, normally referred to as the Aaronic blessing, God calls for the blessings of his name to be placed on his people.
In circumcision, as in baptism, God’s name is placed on his people. This is an important event. Not only are they identified with God in a formal way, but the blessing of God is placed upon them. When God has commanded to bless his people we should expect that he will keep his word. The people are blessed. The Lord will guard them. The Lord will indeed look upon his people. He will show mercy to them. The Lord’s attention will be drawn toward his people and he will give them peace.
The day of Christ’s circumcision and naming reminds us that Jesus himself, God the Son, receives the name commanded by the angel. He is both a partaker of God’s blessing and the one who brings God’s blessings to all nations. As God had promised, in the seed of Abraham all nations would be blessed. This is a sure and certain promise.
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