“A BLOODY GOOD NAME”
Saint Luke 2.21
The Eve of The CIRCUMCISION AND THE NAME OF JESUS
31 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The + NAME of JESUS
“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth.”
Words mean things. The most powerful of all words are Names, nouns of identity. There are tribal names that are ethnic, religious, and national in scope. There are family names that indicate who are your ancestors—what the clan. And then there are individual names attached to each human being—a one-on-one denominator. We, in what’s left of the Christian West, call this our “Christian Name” because for close to two-thousand years these names were given at Holy + Baptism. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” [Gal. 3.26-27]
In the beginning God said. In the beginning The Blessed and Holy Trinity spoke. In the beginning was The Word. There was never a time when there was not The Word. The Son of God, the Second Person, made all things. God made the first in His own image…in “their” image…i.e. a relational intelligent, reflective, loving, sharing, communicating, nurturing, creative, communal being. If there is only one there is no need for a name. But there has always been three-in-one and one-in-three.
As God is within Himself fellowship, so too he created in love a special creature to have communion with. The Lord named this creature Adam i.e. “man.” This was Adam’s “Christian” name, for He was made by same Word Who would one day be incarnated as Jesus the Christ Adam’s name became the generic name for all of his descendants until the end of time.
Resting on the seventh day, the Sabbath as it would later be named during the time of Moses, The Lord saw all that He had made was good.
In naming His land creations, The Lord brought Adam into the creative process in-so-far as Adam was allowed to call each creature a name that would be its name. We might say that God used this first pastor, in “the stead and by His command,” to speak His Word that, gave what it said, and that was what it proclaimed.
Adam the “man,” and his wife, the wo-man, for she was taken from out of man, Eve—first mother of all—were in the eighth day of the New Creation but then things went afoul; they became foul and feculent in their fall; their sinful rebellion. They cut themselves off from God by their treason. Their own sins caused them to be cut off from communing with The Lord the way they had; caused them to be cut off from access to the Garden. The deep cut of the serpent fangs had bit deep, and still, that poison festers in your own “old Adam” heart…a heart, of itself, which pumps out all sorts of sin.
The Lord Himself on the Eternal Eighth Day was the solution. The final cut, the ultimate cut, the cut which was made from before creation, would be the cuts made in the Body of the innocent and pure Christ. The Son of God after the Annunciation voluntarily cut Himself off from the fullness of Heavenly splendor. Soon this Emmanuel would be cut off from His brethren and designated not just blessed Rabbi, but Holy Messias at the Jordan—when the sky was cut open at the descent of The Spirit. Soon this Emmanuel would be cut, and spiked, and torn, and punctured on Calvary’s Tree of Death.
And this Holy Feast day we celebrate when this Emmanuel, only eight days old, was cut in the circumcising of His foreskin. The Holy God/Baby was cut and bled the blood of God for you. There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Every lamb’s throat cut for Tabernacle and Temple worship, was cut out of the land of the living to make propitiation for the sins of the priests and people—in lieu of, and because of, the coming Agnus Dei at Calvary. There is no Savior without the act of saving. There is no Jesus without the act of being the sin-bearer, the Law keeper, the atoning sacrifice cut and bleeding to death.
When He first shed His precious Blood for your repatriation, rest, and righteous status with God, He was named by Joseph “JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”
But He was always Jesus, i.e. He was always Savior Son of The Father “from all eternity, begotten not made, being of the same substance with The Father.” He was in the words of Saint John’s Apocalypse “…The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Rev. 13.8]
You and your kind “were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed.” You were straitjacketed, cocooned, and wrapped in burial shrouds, until they were cut off from your newly washed, + breathing, and regally clothed body; cut off at the Holy font. As Paul tells you “…Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” [Col. 2.11]
This is no distant memorial but your ever present New Year, New Day, New RIGHT NOW, New Forever, in Jesus’ Body, cut and circumcised, to cut away from you all your trespasses, and in His Blood, shed to wash your wounds clean and to fill you with Life.
He has and will always bleed into the Chalice in Eucharistic and Consecrated wine, and into the Font for your daily confession and drowning. “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead.” [Col. 2.12]
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” He is His Name and His Name is Him!
He is The Circumcised One for you; He is The Pierced One for you. He knows your pain and burdens because He too was cut and wounded in all ways possible. But only in that Blood outpouring is there that name Jesus.
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, The Father.
In The Name + of JESUS