For today January 1: Circumcision and Name of Jesus. Already on the eighth day of Jesus’ life, His destiny of atonement is revealed in His name and in His circumcision. At that moment, His blood is first shed and Jesus receives the name given to Him by the angel: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). In the circumcision of Jesus, all the people are circumcised once and for all, because He represents all humanity. In the Old Testament, for the believers who looked to God’s promise to be fulfilled in the Messiah, the benefits of circumcision included the forgiveness of sins, justification, and incorporation into the people of God. In the New Testament, St. Paul speaks of its counterpart, Holy Baptism, as a “circumcision made without hands” and as “the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11).
For today January 2: J.K. Wilhelm Loehe, Pastor. Although he never left Germany, Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, born in Fuerth in 1808, had a profound impact on the development of Lutheranism in North America. Serving as pastor in the Bavarian village of Neuendettelsau, he recognized the need for workers in developing lands and assisted in training emergency helpers to be sent as missionary pastors to North America, Brazil, and Australia. A number of the men he sent to the United States became founders of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Through his financial support, a theological school in Fort Wayne, India, and a teachers’ institute in Saginaw, Michigan, were established. Loehe was known for his confessional integrity and his interest in liturgy and catechetics. His devotion to works of Christian charity led to the establishment of a deaconess training house and homes for the aged.
For today January 6: The Epiphany of Our Lord. The feast of the Epiphany of our Lord commemorates no event but presents an idea that assumes concrete form only through the facts of our Lord’s life. The idea of Epiphany is that the Christ who was born in Bethlehem is recognized by the world as God. At Christmas, God appears as man, and at Epiphany, this man appears before the world as God. That Christ became man needed no proof. But that this man, this helpless child, is God needed no proof. The manifistations of the Trinity, the signs and wonders performed by this man, and all His miracles have the purpose of proving to men that Jesus is God. Lately, especially in the Western Church, the the story of the Magi has been associated with this feast day. As Gentiles who were brought to faith in Jesus Christ, the Magi represent all believers from the Gentile world.
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR
LORD AND EPIPHANYTIDE
The Christ has appeared to us.
O come, let us worship him.
1 Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Worship the Lord in the splemdor of
holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)
2 The Lord has made known His Word.
The Word of His Salvation.
Alleluia! Alleluia! (Leturgical text)
3 A light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to Your people Israel.
4 We saw His star when iy rose
and have come to worship him.
L: The Lord will rise upon you, and His
glory will be seen upon you. (Isaiah 60:2)
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and
to the Holy Spirit.
C: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and
the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.