THE CIRCUMCISION AND NAME OF JESUS (OBSERVED)
TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
REV. KURT E. REINHARDT
Luke 2:21 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.
Yes, beloved, I could end right there and carry on with the rest of the service, not because last
weekend just about did me in so that I don’t have anything left in me to give, but because there’s
really nothing more that needs to be said, because the name of Jesus says it all. It is the name
above all names, the only name given by which we must be saved, it is the name at which every
knee shall bow and the name which every tongue will confess on the last day.
Jesus. Yes, beloved, just that one word, that one name, would be more than enough for the
sermon for this day. The day with the shortest Gospel reading and the shortest sermon. One
word that would say it all and give you enough to think about on this day, throughout the rest of
the week, the rest of the year and for the rest of your lives. Jesus. The shortest sermon and yet
the longest. Jesus. The sermon that was thousands of years in the making and the sermon that
will carry on until the end of the age.
Jesus. The truly Christian sermon. The only Christian sermon. And so the Church’s only
Sermon. Every faithful proclamation of the Word of God ultimately all boils down to this one
word, this one name, because this one word, this one name says it all. Jesus. The sum total of
the whole Word of God because it all testifies of Him. Jesus. The purpose of every other word
in the scriptures. Jesus. The reason every other word is given, every other word is spoken.
Jesus the meaning behind every book, chapter and verse.
Jesus. Yes, beloved, it all boils down to Jesus for the Word of God, for the Church, for her
Service and so for the Sermon. Jesus, yes, that’s what its all about, because that’s who it is all
about, if it’s not then something is very wrong, if it’s not then it is false, if it’s not then it’s a lie.
Jesus. If it doesn’t all boil down to Jesus, then it’s not God’s voice you’re hearing and it’s not
God’s word. Jesus is the Word’s introduction. He is the content of the Word. He is the Word’s
conclusion. Jesus. It’s all that God wants to say, it’s all He has to say because Jesus says it all.
You shall call His name Jesus. Gabriel’s Word to Mary and Gabriel’s Word to Joseph. You shall
call His name Jesus. The word that was the culmination of the whole old testament, where it was
all heading from the first, from the “In the beginning God created.” spoken and given so long
ago. You shall call His name Jesus, you shall call Him “God saves” because He will save His
people from their sins. You shall call His name Jesus, yes, the law and the prophets all led up to
this word from God through Gabriel to a young virgin Mary and a troubled Joseph.
All the promises of God pointed to this Word as they are all gathered together in it and reach
their goal in it. And so today as the son born to Mary and laid in a manger in Bethlehem is
circumcised eight days later and is named Jesus, the promise is fulfilled, as the Son of God made
flesh is made to be Jesus to God’s people, the one who saves them from their sins. As His blood
is shed to make Him one with them, by putting Him under the law that they could not fulfill, so
that he could keep it for them and shed His blood on the cross to pay for all their sins, He is
made to be their Jesus, the one given by God to save them.
Jesus. Yes, beloved, Jesus, God’s things are all about Jesus. And so as His baptized children,
your life and my life are all about Jesus, whether we recognize it or not, whether we live like
they are or not. Yes, it’s all about Jesus, for you and me too, the Jesus who saves us from our
sins. All our yesterdays are about Jesus, whether it's just those of the year we say goodbye to
tonight or the many that went before it. All our tomorrows are about Jesus, whether it’s those of
the New Year that we welcome in tomorrow or the tomorrows, whether they are few or many,
that will unfold until the day that our journey in this world comes to its end.
Jesus, Yes, beloved, Jesus, saving you from your sins, every moment of every day that ever has
been or that ever will be for you. Jesus being Jesus for you from your first to last breath. Jesus
ever cleansing you, Jesus ever forgiving you, Jesus ever renewing you, Jesus ever giving you
life, Jesus ever saving you. Your guilt and shame may blind you to it sometimes, your thoughts,
words and deeds may deny it sometimes, but Jesus is ever being Jesus to you, because on the
eighth day He was named Jesus for you and in your baptism He became your Jesus when you
were named for and with Him.
Jesus. Yes, beloved, the Son of Mary is Jesus to you as the Son of God made flesh who lived and
suffered and died for your salvation. He puts that beyond all question at the altar today, as with
the flesh and blood that hung on the cross for your sins and rose in victory over death for you,
He gives you forgiveness and life in His holy and saving name. Jesus. No, nothing more needs
to be said today, beloved, because, the name of Jesus, says it all. May God ever open your ears to
hear it and open your eyes to see it, that every moment of of every day of your lives may be what
they truly are all about - Jesus. In the name of Jesus! Amen.