Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, January 01, 2007

Holy Name/Circumcision Day

Today is the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, also known as the Feast of the Holy Name. All covenants in ancient times were sealed in blood, and for the Jews, their covenant with YAHWEH was sealed by shedding of blood on the eighth day, when the males were circumcised. It is on this eighth day that they officially received their names. Jesus, in fulfilment of the law as a Jew was circumcised, and formally received the name given to Mary and Joseph by God - JESUS (Yeshua - God Saves!). He, of course, would seal the new covenant in his own blood on the Cross; a one, sufficient sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world. And it is only by the name of Jesus Christ that we are saved!

This is an important mark of the Church. I have several friends (and even some current parishioners) who left their last parish because the decided to ask their priest/minister, point blank, "do you believe that the name of Jesus is the only name given under heaven by which you can be saved" or its caveat "Is Jesus uniquely The Way, The Truth, and the Life - no one coming to the Father except by Him" (both questions being from Scripture and affirmed by the 39 Articles of Religion) only to receive a less than enthusiastic response! They had to flee! At St. John's we worship His Holy Name - and believe both statements above to be TRUE!

The first paragraph from this post was originally posted December 31st, 2005