Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rector's Rambling - January 2, 2011

Happy 2011! On January 1st a special Feast Day was commemorated. Not “New Year’s Day” (the Church New Year started on the first Sunday in Advent back on November 29th), but the Feast of the Circumcision.
Jesus, born into a family of the original covenant with the people of the Hebrews, was circumcised as the outward sign of his membership in that covenant between God and His chosen people.
There are several theologically important things happening at this event on Jesus’ eight day of life:
1) Jesus, as the fulfillment of the promise of God to send a Messiah as the fulfillment of the law, keeps the law by being circumcised.
2) This covenant, as all ancient covenants (agreements between two parties), was sealed in blood. An agreement between two parties involved a shedding of blood of some sort as a sign of the importance and long term effect of it. The shedding of this first blood through circumcision was also a permanent reminder of that membership in that covenant as God’s chosen people. More importantly it is a foreshadowing of how the new covenant would be sealed – by the shedding of Jesus’ own blood on the hard wood of the cross.
3) On this eight day another very important thing happens in the life of the Jewish male – he officially receives his name! And of course, the Name of Jesus is not only the name given by the Angel to Mary when she conceived Him by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:21), but the Name of Jesus is the only name under heaven by which we are saved! (Acts 4:12).
So, while many were recovering from the celebration of the new secular calendar year, we have started this year off with a wonderful remembrance of our Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
~ 1 Corinthians 15:57