In Nomine Iesu!
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising Him, His name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Prayer in Pulpit before Sermon:
O Lord, send out Thy Light and Thy Truth, let them lead us. O Lord, open Thou my lips, that my mouth may show forth Thy praise. O Lord, graciously preserve me, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. Amen.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.
St. Luke the Evangelist tells us in the Gospel reading for today that our Lord received the name of + Jesus on this eighth day of His life; when the days were fulfilled for circumcising Him. The angel Gabriel in the Gospel of the Apostle and Evangelist St. Matthew interprets this name when he appeared in a dream to St. Joseph, in order to convince him not to secretly divorce his betrothed spouse, Mary. The name + Jesus means, “Savior” for He shall save His people from their sins. This name of + Jesus has an Old Testament counterpart. Joshua also means savior. Joshua in the Greek Septuagint is translated as + Jesus.
Joshua saved the people of Israel by leading them in their conquest for the land of Canaan. He led them to take possession of a land flowing with milk and honey. In that land they inherited vineyards which they did not plant, and olive groves they did not labor to install. All of this was a gift from the Lord God Who granted His people a vast Promised Land, because the residents who dwelt there had rejected Him as Lord and God.
The people of Israel became His people not only in Word, because through Moses it was established that through the Law the Lord God had claimed the Israelites with whom He made a covenant that if they kept His Commandments they would be and remain His people. But they were not just His people through the covenant of the Law, which they broke constantly, they were also His people in the flesh. For during their wilderness wanderings, as the Lord God led them through the desert teaching them to trust in Him fully, and allowing an entire generation of disobedient and rebellious Israelites to be buried in the desert, they had neglected the sacrament of circumcision.
But after they crossed over the Jordan River to enter into the Promised Land; before they went and displaced the rebellious people of Canaan, they were circumcised in Gilgal with knives of flint. Thereby Joshua established them as the Lord God’s people. They were the Lord God’s people by decree of the covenant with the Lord and by circumcision of the flesh. This sacrament of circumcision that was first established with Abraham, and was reestablished with Joshua would be practiced by all
the faithful Jews throughout the years, until our Lord and Savior + Jesus, the Christ received His circumcision on this eighth day after the day of His birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary; eight days after being wrapped up in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Eight days ago, He was born in our flesh. The Lord God dwelt among us in our flesh as a man, and as a man, a Boy of eight days, like all Jewish baby boys, He was circumcised in our flesh. The Lord God was circumcised in our flesh.
By our Lord God being circumcised in our flesh, by the Lord + Jesus, Who is both God and man, being circumcised in our flesh, He fulfills the need—the requirement of the Law—for mankind to be circumcised. There is now no need for mankind to be circumcised in the flesh, for the Lord + Jesus has fulfilled this requirement. This is afterall why our Lord God came down from Heaven to take upon Himself our flesh. He came in our flesh to dwell with us as one of us and fulfill all the requirements of the Law that we were and are unable to fulfill. He fulfills all the requirements of the Law. And it begins with His circumcision.
This is why He is called + Jesus; why He is called “Savior.” For He saves us from sin by fulfilling the Law perfectly for us. And by this fulfillment of the Law, He gives us a better way to be united to Him; a new covenant that means we are His people and He is our Lord and God. Circumcision was just a prefigurement of Holy Baptism. By the washing of water and the Word, we are gifted with the Holy Ghost, Who creates, strengthens, renews, and preserves us in the one, true faith in our Lord and Savior + Jesus, the Christ.
He was called + Jesus on this day. He was given the name of “Savior” on this day all so that we could be saved from our sins. Through the waters of Holy Baptism, we are saved from our sins. For we are joined with the Lord + Jesus through Holy Baptism into His death and resurrection. As I said before, our Lord + Jesus came to this Earth to fulfill for us men that which we are unable to fulfill ourselves. He died an innocent man. He died a sinless man. He was punished on the cursed tree in our place with our sins, and taking upon Himself our sins He suffered, died and was buried. Therefore, by His death He has already fulfilled our deaths. When we die, we do not truly die for we live on in Heaven on account of our faith in this wonderful work of our Lord and Savior + Jesus, the Christ.
For He did not only die and be buried, but on the third day He rose again from the dead. And by His resurrection He has also fulfilled our resurrection from the dead. Because He has risen from the dead we too will rise again from the dead on the Last Day. Death no longer has no more dominion over us. We may die in our bodies, but our souls go on living, and will be given new and glorious bodies when our Lord + Jesus comes again to judge the quick and the dead. All because we have been baptized with water and the Word. We have entered into a new covenant that circumcision only prefigured. Through Holy Baptism we have been forgiven of our sins. We have been buried with Christ in His death. We have been joined to Him in His resurrection so that we have arisen, and arise each new day, as new creations in our Lord’s sight.
We have all of these gifts, and more, for we have also been rescued from our enemies of the devil and the world and our sinful flesh. All of these gifts are ours because our Lord + Jesus came down from Heaven and took upon Himself our flesh. He was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary eight days ago, and wrapped up in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the inn. Now eight days later He receives the sacrament of circumcision, and receives the Name that was established before He was conceived in the womb. His name was called + Jesus. He is called + Jesus because He was to save mankind from their sins. Indeed, He has saved us from our sins through the waters of Holy Baptism and become our Savior.
To this great gift that establishes a covenant between us and our Lord God we cling to in faith, for by this sacrament of Holy Baptism, we are washed clean and free from sins, from the power of the devil, and from death and the grave. For our Lord + Jesus has fulfilled the sacrament of circumcision on this eighth day after His birth, and given us the gift of Holy Baptism, wherein we receive the Holy Ghost, Who creates such faith in us to trust in our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ alone.
Therefore, my dear friends, let us rejoice that our Lord and Savior—+ Jesus—Who came down from Heaven to dwell with us has fulfilled the requirements of the Law, so that He can be our Savior. He fulfills the requirement to be circumcised, for by His circumcision we see the first shedding of His blood. We see a foreshadowing of that day when He shall hang cursed upon a tree bearing our sins and transgressions. Our Lord + Jesus, our Savior, begins His atoning work for us poor, miserable sinners, so that we may be united with Him in His death and resurrection through the waters of Holy Baptism, and be washed free from our sins whenever we remember our Holy Baptism and make the sign of the holy cross; the sign that we have also been given a name. We are now called by our Lord’s Name, the Name of God the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. By this Name we are His people and He is our God and we will live with Him forever and ever in Heaven. Amen. In the Name of our Lord + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit after Sermon:
Almighty God, be pleased to accompany Thy Word with Thy Holy Spirit and grant that Thy Word would increase faith in us; bring into the Way of Truth all such as have erred; turn the hearts of the unrepentant; and for sake of Thy Name grant succor to all heavy hearts and those who are heavy-laden, that they may through the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ be relieved and preserved so that they succumb not to the temptation of despair but rather that they gain the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with the Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!