Summary: Preparing ourselves for a new year of service by circumcising our lives inwardly

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Luke 2:21-26 – Time to be Circumcised - AGAIN

With the new year now upon us, we enter an interesting time where people begin to think about making a new start. New Year’s resolutions crop up all over the place. Listen to these New Year Resolutions from a cat …

Cat’s New Year Resolutions

o I will not swat my human’s head repeatedly when she’s on the family room floor trying to do sit ups.

o When my human is typing at the computer, her forearms are “not” a hammock.

o Computer and TV screens do not exist to backlight my lovely tail.

o I will not bring the police to the front door by stepping on the speaker phone button and then the automatic 000 dial button.

o I will not speed dial the overseas numbers.

o I will not walk on the keyboard when my human is writing important emiognaierp . . .

o I will not eat large numbers of assorted bugs, then come home and puke them up so the humans can see that I’m getting plenty of roughage.

o I will not perch on my humans chest in the middle of the night and stare into her eyes until she wakes up .

o I will not stick my paw into any container to see if there is something in it. if I do, I will not hiss and scratch when my human has to shave me to get the glue out of my fur.

A Dog’s New Year Resolutions

o I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.

o I will not lick my human’s face after eating animal poop.

o I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.

o When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it’s raining outside.

o I will not drop soggy tennis balls in the underwear of someone who is sitting on the toilet.

o I will not bark each time I hear a door bell on TV.

o My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

o I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m lying under the coffee table.

o The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

o I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.

Come on, who here has made a new years resolution this year? I’m sure many of you have – I hope for your sake they are realistic and that plan to keep them.

When you look at New Year Resolutions, they are our attempts to put away the past failures and begin the New Year afresh. Some of us may determine in our minds, we want to get rid of some of that excess weight, or we may determine that we want to read the bible more, or be more patient with our children. What ever it is, it is an attempt to wipe the slate clean and start over.

If you’ve got your bibles there tonight, I want you to open them to Luke 2:21-24. Because in this passage, I think that God has something for us in this New Year. Some of you might like to consider Jesus’ example as a good example for your own lives here tonight.

Read Luke 2:21-24.

Pray – that God would show us what he would have for us this coming year.

This is an interesting little aside in Luke’s gospel and reveals 3 Jewish rituals that happened when a child was born. It was a new beginning for the new parents – a new stage with a new start. Much like the New Year is for us every year.

1) The first ritual mentioned was Circumcision (vs 21). How’s that for a New Year’s resolution guys. I know a bit too painful – but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – Pun intended.

It was Jewish law that on the 8th day after birth, every Jewish boy was circumcised. For those that don’t know what that is – it means that the foreskin over the tip of the penis was cut off. This was a sacred ceremony – so sacred in fact that it was carried out even on the Sabbath when almost everything else was forbidden. Circumcision was a fairly common thing. Most other nations around Israel practiced circumcision, but usually it was kept for initiation rites and wasn’t done on infants. Some nations didn’t practice it though – of greatest note, the Philistines. Because the Philistines were sworn enemies of Israel, the term “uncircumcised” became a derogatory term which came to be used against anyone who wasn’t one of God’s chosen people.

So why 8 days? Well this was in keeping with God’s command to Abraham in Gen 17:9-14 Listen to it …

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