On the Eighth Day of Christmas, Our Eternal Security Began
by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on December 30, 2022 in Luke 2:21
The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus January 1, 2023
Text: Luke 2:21 CW-21 Series A 22:2359
Theme: On the Eighth Day of Christmas, Our Eternal Security Began
Intro: On this day we cross the threshold of a new year of grace. Another 12-month period of life lies behind us. Ahead of us stretches a new lap of life’s course in the world. The path lies shrouded in mystery for we have not passed this way before. What will the new year bring us?
God-willing we will see its close 364 days from today. Or will there be those among us who end their time of sojourn in this world? Will success crown our efforts and happiness mark our days? Will our families remain intact? Will good health be ours? Will our country get back on track spiritually, morally, politically, financially? Many questions arise in the opening hours of a new year to fill our minds with uncertainty, sometimes insecurity about the future.
It is said that a craving for security is one of the basic drives of human nature. In the search for security, some people are driven to strange extremes: reading the lines on the palms of their hands, or the formation of tea leaves in their cups, or the position of stars in the constellation of their birth. But what do any of these or the countless measures people use have to do with a future that is hidden to us?
As for us Christians let us be mindful on this first day of the new year that among all men in every land and throughout all ages there has been one, and only one sure Guide for the path of life – one. That is the Child whose birth over 2,000 years ago we celebrated last Sunday. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the tiny infant who received the name that is above every name, the only begotten Son of the Father’s love, the One named Jesus On the Eighth Day after His Birth. It is with Him that our past, present, and future, Our Eternal Security lies. (“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” – #358/98 st.1).
I. Our Security Was Shattered.
Way back in the beginning of Creation’s history, Adam and Eve made a tragic decision. It would affect the lives of all people in the future. Their decision was to sample the fruit of the forbidden tree in disobedience to God’s command. The result of their fateful decision was that all human beings were thrown into sin. No longer would they be born in the image of God. That image was lost. No longer holy and perfect like the Creator, sin became the reality of our world.
With it our security was shattered for “the wages of sin is death.” “Hostility, enmity, pain, sweat-born labor, cursings, all manner of thorns and thistles” entered our lives “until we should return to the dust, for of the dust we were formed and to the dust we shall return.” The future was uncertain, our security was shattered, and it was not good!
But at that time God also made a decision in His eternal counsel. In grace and mercy, He determined not to leave His creatures helpless and hopeless. So, He made a promise with them, the promise of One to be born of a woman who would redeem us from the fallen condition into which Satan had led and enslaved us. God promised a Savior when He said to the serpent in Eden’s Garden: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall strike His heel.”
Often-times in the succeeding centuries the Promise was repeated. God formed a covenant with His people, an agreement that only He could keep intact. Finally, on a quiet night, in a lowly stable, in the city of Bethlehem, the Promise was fulfilled. The Son of God became a man. Jesus Christ was born to redeem fallen mankind. The fulfillment of that Promise we celebrate on Christmas Day. On that day the angels and all heaven joined to praise God in song, for the eternal security of all mankind, shattered by one disobedient act in the Garden and repeated through the countless sins we have committed since, that security could once more be restored. (st.2-3)
II. Our Security Began to be Restored in the Days after His Birth
In the words of our Gospel text this morning: “After eight days passed, when the child was circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
Eight days after His birth, according to Jewish Law and the covenant God had established with Abraham some 2,000 years after Adam and Eve’s fall, the Child Jesus was circumcised. On that day, today, eight days after Christmas, our eternal security began to be restored through this divine act.
Circumcision’s purpose was to indicate to God’s people the covenant that existed between Him and them. This covenant was God’s promise of redemption from sin and His people’s faith in that promise.
It may seem strange to us that the holy Son of God Himself should be subjected to this particular act. Why should He, the sinless
One, as a tiny infant suffer pain for us in the shedding of the first drops of His blood? Instinctively we ask “Why?”
Way back in the days of the O.T. patriarchs, God commanded Abraham and his family’s descendants to observe circumcision as a token of the covenant between Him and them. In obedience to it, Jesus actively submitted to the ceremonial rite. It was also a part of His passive obedience to the Law, for how could a tiny infant stop it from taking place? It was intended to remind the Jews of their sinfulness before God. But why did the heavenly Father cause His holy, sinless Son to be circumcised with sinners? The Apostle Paul answers, “To every man who allows himself to be circumcised, he is obligated to do the whole Law” (Ga.5:3).
That is impossible to do, for any sinful human being, to keep the whole Law without any failure. So it was that by this act the Father intended His holy, true, and only-begotten Son to assume the obligation for us who needed it so that our eternal security could be restored to us.
The Apostle further writes, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Ga.4:4-5).
On the Eighth Day of Christmas this holy Child took the first step to redeem us from the curse of the Law and to secure for us the blessings of adoption into the household of God. Here Our Eternal Security Began to be restored to us in the days after His birth. It would be completed some 33 years later in the greater shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary when He would cry: “It is finished!” And so He was named Jesus, which means “Jehovah saves,” just as the angel told both Mary and Joseph: “For He shall save His people from their sins.” (st.4)
III. Today a New Sense of Security for the Years Ahead is Given.
This is no minor event – God’s covenant fulfilled through our Savior, and by our faith in Him. No small or seemingly insignificant detail did He pass over. Should this not give us a new sense of security for the year and years that lie ahead? Even though in our earthly life we know not what each year may bring, we know that on this Child rests our Security with God forever. In Him we trust. Certainly, “God who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not, along with Him, graciously give us all things. For if God is for us, who or what can be against us. We are convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus, our Lord – the Savior” (Ro.8:31f).
On the Eighth Day of Christmas, today, more than 2,000 years ago, Our Eternal Security Began and is restored to us. God grant it to us in faith, for Jesus’ sake. (st.5)
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
www.zionluthchurch.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus January 1, 2023
“He was named Jesus.” Luke 2:21
Welcome in the name of the newborn Savior. Today is a festival day that we rarely get to celebrate within the Church since the day falls on a Sunday only once every seven years. It is a festival day not because it is the octave (eighth day) of the Nativity that we celebrated a week ago, nor because we begin a new civil year January 1. It is a festival day in the Church because the holy Child was circumcised on the eighth day and given the Name that is above every name.
In earlier times this festival fell in the midst of one of the greatest heathen seasons when the pagan world staged a riot of worldly pleasures and relaxation, some of which is still carried on in our present world’s New Year’s celebrations. Within its historical calendar, the Christian Church has not connected January 1 with the beginning of a new year, because the Church’s New Year’s Day takes place on the First Sunday in Advent. The Reformers of old deeply deplored that the idea of the civil New Year’s Day had made the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus decidedly secondary.
Since the Feast of the Circumcision and Naming of Christ is appointed for this octave of the Nativity, and we are blessed to celebrate it on a Sunday, it is most appropriate and proper that we dwell on the event in our worship today, for without it Christ Jesus does not take up His path to the cross by which we are saved.
To that end we pray: Lord, lead us to appreciate anew Your love that performs all things for our good. In that love You gave Christ Jesus to take away our sin. Through Word and Sacrament You firmly hold us in Him. Bless us today and in the days ahead, for without Your blessing in Christ we could not stand. In His name we pray. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Numbers 6:22-27
Here is the familiar blessing with which we end our worship services. God commanded Aaron, the high priest, to pronounce it upon the people of Israel. With it the Lord put His name upon His people, and they were blessed by it.
The Epistle Lesson: Galatians 3:23-29
Paul refers to Holy Baptism, of which Circumcision is the Old Covenant type. Circumcision was the sign of the promise of the Savior that God made with Abraham. When Jesus came that promise was fulfilled. Now, in Baptism, we receive God’s blessing of oneness with Christ in faith.
The Gospel Lesson: Luke 2:21
The Evangelist Luke records the circumstances of Jesus’ circumcision and naming on the eighth day following His birth.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “There is only one who can wipe out our debt of sin, who made atonement for us with His blood. This is Jesus Christ who today, as an eight-day-old boy, was circumcised according to the divine command. This holy child allowed this act, which is disgraceful in the eyes of human reason, to happen to him. He was obedient to the divine Law and He fulfilled its humblest demand as if He were a sinner like us….By it He wiped out the sins we commit by violating the divine Law. The drops of blood Christ shed at His circumcision were the first of the payments He made for the immeasurable debt of the world’s sins. So let us in faith and with joy embrace the holy Christ Child who today so willingly submitted Himself for us…. Like the old year itself, all of our sins have eternally disappeared.” – CFW Walther on Luke 2:21
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #335
Order of Worship: The Service: Setting One with Holy Communion: page 154-160
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
The Gospel Acclamation pg.161
Sermon: Luke 2:21 On the Eighth Day of Christmas…
The Nicene Creed pg.162
Our Response to the Word
Prayer of the Church: (insert)
Responsive Prayer for the New Year:
M: I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
C: Every day I will praise you and extol your name.
M: It is fitting, O Lord, in the hours of this new year, to express our gratitude for the countless gifts of grace we have received from your hand in the past.
C: You have been faithful to your promises and loving toward all you have made.
M: You clothe your creation with beauty; you feed even the birds and tell us that we are much more valuable than they.
C: You know what we need, and you give us all good things.
M: Clothing and food, safety and health, possessions and money, even life itself—all these come to us from your generous hand.
C: We thank you for these blessings, and we ask that you continue to grant them to us.
M: We thank you especially for your Word and Holy Supper, which strengthen our faith, shield us from temptation, and equip us for service.
C: Increase our commitments to these precious gifts, so that we may continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
M: Hear us, Lord, as we bring you our private petitions.
M: Almighty and eternal God, you have been gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love. As you led your people Israel with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, so lead us by the light of your Word that we may live our lives to your glory and be prepared to die in your peace.
C: We ask these things in the name of Jesus. In his name we closed the past year; in his name we begin a new one. Amen.
The Lord Blesses Us
Preparation for Holy Communion Hymnal page 165-169
(Visitors: Please read the box on page 2 regarding Holy Communion)
Consecration and Distribution
Distribution Hymns: #496 & 820
Thanksgiving & Blessing Hymnal page 170
Closing Hymn: #362 st.1,2,6
The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus – Series A
Old Testament Lesson: Number 6:22-27 God Puts His Name on His People
22The Lord told Moses 23to speak to Aaron and to his sons and to tell them to bless the Israelites with these words:
24The Lord bless you and keep you.
25The Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you.
26The Lord look on you with favor
and give you peace.
27In this way they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
Epistle Lesson: Galatians 3:23-29 – Abraham’s Descendants and Heirs
23But before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24So the law was our chaperone until Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a chaperone.
26In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27Indeed, as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28There is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one and the same in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants and heirs according to the promise.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 2:21 – Jesus’ Circumcision and Naming
21After eight days passed, when the child was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion
Fellowship & Bible Study
The Circumcision and Name of Jesus
|4 pm Confirmation Class
Midweek Bible Class
The Epiphany of Our Lord
Divine Worship Service
online – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible Study
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
God’s activity at that first Christmas time when Jesus was born was the unfolding of the grand covenant of world-wide blessings. This is the covenant that had been made to Abraham around 2000 years earlier. Now approximately 2000 years after Jesus’ birth we continue to reap the benefits. Through Christ we enjoy a “dear Father—son” relationship with the almighty God Himself.
On Circumcision: God’s Promise to Abraham – Genesis 17:1-7 (answers are found on the back side)
- What was the covenant that God had made with Abraham?
- What did He command as the way to seal this covenant to make its reality constantly evident to the people? (Gen 9-14)
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter, diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis; Lucille Huston; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese.
Thank You for your kind holiday greetings and gifts by which you have remembered our family this Christmas. Your expressions of thoughtfulness mean a lot. We are happy to say with Paul: “I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way.” May the Lord bless your families with a rich measure of grace in the days of the New Year that lie ahead. A blessed New Year to you in Christ. – The Lehmann family
2023 Offering Envelopes are in your mailboxes or fellowship hall where you may pick up your new set for the year ahead.
Sunday, January 15 – Annual Voters’ Meeting following the ending of the 4th quarter
The Week in Review
Christmas Eve Worship: 26; Christmas Day Worship: 18; No Bible Class; No Midweek Bible Class; Offerings: $245 & $875
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Epiphany 1: Isaiah 42:1-7; Acts 10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17 (CW-21, Series A)
Answers to Today’s Brief Study:
- He was going to make Abraham the “father of many nations,” be their God and provide them the land as their own. In Gen 12:3 he clarifies that “all nations will be blessed” because of him. It is from his descendants that the Savior would be born for the benefit of the whole world. (Do you see this includes you?)
- All the male children were to be circumcised as a sign of the covenant. In the next generations it was to be an automatic rite carried out on the boys when they were eight days old. It would connect them with the covenant God and his blessings to his people.
This week I am praying for……