Circumcised Relationship

Genesis 17:1–14, Deuteronomy 10:14–22, Luke 1:59–80

The ritual of circumcision existed before the people of Israel came into being (yes, Abraham was their forefather). This was a ritual the physically made the people of Israel different than those around them. It was (and is) the ceremony that “enters” a boy into the . In the modern ceremony (which, in all likelihood, had similarities to the ceremony John went through), the parents respond with, “As this child has entered into the , so may he enter into Torah, the wedding canopy, and good deeds.” This is also the time when the boy officially receives his Hebrew name.

While we’re certain that John didn’t get married, he certainly learned (“entered”) the Torah and did “good” deeds. When we recognize the receiving of a name as part of this ceremony, we understand where the is a bit confused regarding the name that John receives, which isn’t Hebrew. John’s name in and of itself indicates that John is set apart at the tender age of 8 days (plus the whole angel viation) to be different. The Brit Milah is a big occasion. What a time to make waves!

While obeying the (Jewish) Law is good, obeying the Law for the Law’s sake is not. As we talked about a few days ago, the Law was never the point. It was a relationship with . The event of Brit Milah was both the entering into the community and recognizing the One who created that community….

Often we get sidetracked by the good things: church, Bible reading, Life Groups, even prayer. As we “check-off” the list, we neglect a relationship with the One around whom all these revolve. The ts overtake the relationship. That being said, there are far too many people who say, “I can worship better (here) than at (church/ groups).” They might be correct…for a time. However, when we worship in isolation, we become the only one who holds us accountable. Except in rare cases, that means the worship (let alone the relationship) fades away.

When Moses talked about circumcig the , it wasn’t supposed to be a t to be “checked-off”, it was a relationship to be had.

1) When we look at the of circumcision, we can see the similarity with infant . What are the similarities? What are the differences? Why do those differences matter?

2) At the circumcision, there are 3 aspects of that are addressed. What are they? How do they echo the Christian ?

3) Age is no barrier to making waves; John’s parents were well advanced in years, and their son was 8 days old. What does this tell you about the age barriers in living the Christian ? What does this tell you about making a difference for ’s kingdom?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.