Jesus was circumcised today. I’ve been to many Circumcision Rituals before, but today, well, today was a hard one as no mother wants to hear her child in pain. But it is something that needs to be done. Something we very much wanted to do. It is an honor to obey our God. I will never forget this day.
Jesus was welcomed by everyone as they said, “Blessed be he that comes”. The Sephardim sang a piyyut. I brought him to his godmother who handed him over at the door of the room to his godfather who, gave him to the mohel. He was placed, just for a moment on the Chair of Elijah. It was at that moment, I remembered something that the angel had said to Zachariah, the angel was talking about John and he said, “He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God.” (Luke 1) In the style and strength of Elijah … It made me also think about one of the things that Malachi prophesied, “I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. …” (Malachi 4), I wonder, was he speaking about John?
After that they placed Jesus on a pillow on the knees of the holder, who held his legs firmly. The mohel got a firm grip of the foreskin with his left hand, and with a knife in the right hand took one sweep. Oh, my heart sank at that point. With his thumbnail and index finger, the mohel firmly grasped the edge of the disclosed mucous membrane tore it down the center as far as the corona. My mind drifted, and recalled a prophesy of Zechariah, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12) Pierced … my mind began to sing a Psalm (22) of David’s,
Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
Pierced … Will this be what my baby boy, my son, Jesus will endure? What lies ahead for him? I will trust in the Lord my God to be my strength and be with me and Jesus, regardless of what lies ahead. He is our Shepherd and He will guide and comfort us. As I drifted out of my own thoughts the mohel had already sucked the blood from the area, applied a dressing, and wrapped Jesus up. Joseph was reciting the benediction “Who hast hallowed us by Thy commandments and hast commanded us to make our sons enter into the covenant of Abraham our father.” The She-Heheyanu benediction was given and the guests replied “Even as this child has entered into the covenant so may he enter into the Torah, the nuptial canopy, and into good deeds.”
Jesus was handed to the Joseph and the mohel, holding a goblet of wine, recited the benediction for wine and a second benediction praising God who established a covenant with His people Israel. Followed by a prayer for Jesus’ welfare, his name was announced. As this was happening, it hit me, both Joseph and I are from the line of David … both of us. Both the prophets Samuel (2nd 7) and Isaiah (9) prophesied that the Messiah would come from the line of David. We are also from the line Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Judah! (Genesis 12, 17, 21, 22, and 49; Numbers 24) It is amazing how God has brought this all to being. I am honored to have been His vessel in this which He is about to bring about.
We had a festive meal and sang special hymns. During the grace after meals blessings were recited for Joseph and I, the sandak and the mohel. I’m sure those with me today are completely unaware of who this little baby boy really is and what he will do one day. What he will do for THEM one day, the blessing which he really is.
What a day, what a glorious day!