Pastor's PenThe end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2)

Merry Christmas. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Have you made your New Year's resolutions? Join a gym. To lose weight. Make a budget. Save more money.

Eight days after Jesus is born He is brought to church. Brought to the Temple to receive circumcision. In the Old Testament it was the way in which God marked His people. To receive the promise that we are God's people and He is our God.  

Jesus has come to save His people from their sins. Circumcision is part of the work of salvation which Christ has come to do for you. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4)  

The circumcision of Jesus reminds us that Jesus comes to keep all of God's Law for you. Jesus sheds His first drops of blood on the 8th day. Under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9)

Jesus is our substitute. For all our Law breaking, Jesus sheds His blood for you. 30 years after, Jesus’ blood runs down the Cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of all your sins. Under suffering, pain and death.

The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1)

Now you bear a greater sign than circumcision. Holy Baptism. The New birth through water and the Word into the Triune Name of God. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2) The Lord washes you clean in His royal blood at the font. Lavishing His forgiveness on you. God is making His promise to you. You are my people and I am your God.  

You were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. (Colossians 2)

New Year's resolutions many times are quickly broken. But Jesus keeps His Word. All of God's Word for you. Jesus’ obedience for our disobedience. Jesus is cursed for all our sins. Jesus as the sacrifice and spotless Lamb of God. Jesus’ blood is the price for the redemption of the world.

What will 2017 hold for you? Only the Lord knows. We the Baptized begin this New Year in the Name of Jesus, which means this year will be rich in forgiveness and salvation. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

897 O Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly LSB 897:2
See, my soul, thy Savior chooses Weakness here and poverty;
In such love He comes to thee.
Neither crib nor cross refuses; All He suffers for thy good
To redeem thee by His blood.
Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness, Christ has done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow and repining, For the Sun of Grace is shining!