ALMIGHTY God, who made your blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the Law for man: grant us the true Circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey your blessed will; through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Genesis 17:1-13; Psalm 98; Romans 4:8-14; Luke 2:15-21
This may seem like a strange event to commemorate with its own holiday, as it comes from a single verse in the Gospel reading. The Old Testament reading provides the background: circumcision is a sign of the covenant between God and his people. And, as the collect points out, circumcision also came to be associated with being bound to the Law of Moses. This is significant because the fact that Jesus perfectly kept the Law throughout his life is one of the key factors in what makes him our Savior. As one begins to investigate how this points to the Christian life, the epistle reading informs us that circumcision was “a sign or seal of righteousness” which comes by faith. So, while we do not need to be physically circumcised in this New Covenant era, we do need the “true circumcision of the Spirit,” so that our sinful nature be cut off and replaced with the righteousness of Christ.