The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus
1st January 2019
The celebration of this scriptural festival marks three events: firstly, the naming of the infant Christ as Jesus; secondly, the circumcision as the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham ‘and his children for ever’, thus Christ’s keeping of the Law; and thirdly, traditionally the first shedding of the Christ’s blood. The most significant of these in the gospels is the name itself, which means ‘Yahweh saves’ and so is linked to the question asked by Moses of God: ‘What is your name?’ ‘I am who I am,’ was the reply, hence the significance of Jesus’s words: ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ This feast has been observed in the Church since at least the sixth century.


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