01 January 2009

more than a new year

Most of the world thinks of today as New Year’s Day—and ignore that it’s also the 8th day of Christmas! And there’s something else about the eighth day; it’s the day that baby boys were to be circumcised (as we see in Luke 2:21). Therefore, today is also known as the Circumcision, or the Naming, of Christ.

There are some verses from a book that speaks of “times of much leisure and unbounded curiosity, when excitement of every kind is sought after with a morbid eagerness.” These words appear in the introduction to the book The Christian Year. They were written in 1827.

“The year begins with Thee, / And Thou beginn’st with woe, / To let the world of sinners see / That blood for sin must flow…
O bond of union, dear / And strong as is Thy Grace! / Saints, parted by a thousand year, / May thus in heart embrace…
Look here, and hold thy peace: / The Giver of all good / Even from the womb takes no release / From suffering, tears, and blood.
If thou wouldst reap in Love, / First sow in holy fear: / So life a winter’s morn may prove / To a bright endless year.”

The image is from an illuminated manuscript of a medieval French Book of Hours.

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