Eighth Day of Christmas

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

January 1 has only been the beginning of the New Year in England (and what were then the 13 American colonies) for 254 years. As Fr Gregory Hallam notes, between the 13th century and 1752, the New Year was celebrated on the Feast of the Annunciation, the commemoriation of the Incarnation.

January 1 has been the Feast of the Circumcision for much longer. You might consider this feast to mark the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. I know, you’re thinking He was only eight days old, so how could it possibly have anything to do with His ministry?

His circumcision put Him under the Law. He became a member of the Old Covenant. The Law was now there to fulfill. In the circumcision, “He came to His own”. We know that His own did not receive Him, but they couldn’t deny that He was all Jew. As a Jew, he obeyed every mitzvah.

On this Feast we can remember that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”


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