Friday, January 1, 2010

On the 8th Day of Christmas: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus

And at the 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 2:21 (ESV)

Occasionally the Church celebrates in real time. We read Luke 2:1-20 during the Christmas celebrations between sundowns on Dec. 24 and 25. Eight days later, just as the scripture says, we read Luke 2:21. It is easy to confuse this celebration with Simeon and Anna in the temple. Those who follow the 3-year lectionary heard about them this past Sunday. The text in Luke is clear that these are separate events. Luke 2:21 begins, "At the end of eight days..." and Luke 2:22 begins, "And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses..."

Where circumcision took place on the eighth day, the purification took place on the 40th day, according to the Law of Moses.

Some hymns combine the Name of Jesus and the New Year celebration.

In Lutheran Service Book we have my favorite hymn for this day, "Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year."

Now greet the swiftly changing year
With joy and penitence sincere...

This Jesus came to end sin's war;
This Name of names for us He bore...

The appointed hymn for this day is "Jesus, Name of Wondrous Love." The difference between this hymn and the popular song, "Jesus, Name Above All Names" is that this text tells you more about Jesus than just His names. If your goal is simply to learn the different names for Jesus, the popular song will suffice quite nicely. If your goal is to learn more about Jesus than His different names, this hymn is better suited for that purpose.

Jesus! Name of wondrous love,
Name all other names above,
Unto which must every knee
Bow in deep humility.

Jesus! Name decreed of old,
To the maiden mother told,
Kneeling in her lowly cell,
By the angel Gabriel.

Jesus! Name of priceless worth
To the fallen sons of earth
For the promise that it gave,
"Jesus shall his people save."

Jesus! Name of mercy mild,
Given to the holy Child
When the cup of human woe
First he tasted here below.

Jesus! Only name that’s given
Under all the mighty heaven
Whereby man, to sin enslaved,
Bursts his fetters and is saved.

Jesus! Name of wondrous love,
Human name of God above;
Pleading your redemption true,
We flee, helpless, Lord, to you.

You can catch the tune here. Once you get there, click on the title of the hymn.

Another appropriate hymn that bridges the gap between the New Year and the Name of Jesus is the hymn "At the Name of Jesus."  The hymn looks forward to Christ's return and proclaims the power of the name of Jesus.

At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him King of glory now;
’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call Him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

At His voice creation sprang at once to sight,
All the angel faces, all the hosts of light,
Thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,
All the heavenly orders, in their great array.

Humbled for a season, to receive a name
From the lips of sinners unto whom He came,
Faithfully He bore it, spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious when from death He passed.

Bore it up triumphant with its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast;
Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.

In your hearts enthrone Him; there let Him subdue
All that is not holy, all that is not true;
Crown Him as your Captain in temptation’s hour;
Let His will enfold you in its light and power.

Christians, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
With His Father’s glory, with His angel train;
For all wreaths of empire meet upon His brow,
And our hearts confess Him King of glory now.

Glory, then, to Jesus, Who, the Prince of Light,
To a world in darkness brought the gift of sight,
Praise to God the Father; In the Spirit's love
Praise we all together Him who reigns above.

This is not the same tune as in Lutheran Service Book, but the text is stanzas 1, 5, and 6 (slightly altered).

The tune in LSB "King's Weston."

Here is the "Fantasia on King's Weston." You get King's Weston plus a medley of other tunes, including
  • If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee
  • O Sacred Head Now Wounded has an organ arrangement for your listening enjoyment.

1 comment:

  1. IggyAntiochus,
    I love your blog site! Great material. In relation to Christmas 8, which you have evidently written but not published yet [info I recieve via Google Blog Alert for the word "deaconess"] I notice that you state, "He [Loehe] is also known as the founder of the modern Deaconess movement." I want to suggest that you change that statement to something more historically accurate. The fact is that Theodore Flieder of Kaiserswerth, Germany, is universally known as the Father of the modern deaconess movement (at least by all historians and those who know their history). Loehe started his deaconess training after Fliedner and modeled his training on Fliedner's motherhouse style, after his (Loehe's) own initial efforts at training women through women's [ladies' aid] societies failed. So something to the effect of "Loehe is also well known for his training of deaconesses in Neuendettelsau, Germany" would be a better choice than the statement that you have.
    A blessed New Year, and I look forward to more of your posts. Deaconess Cheryl D. Naumann


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