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James Howard's Circumcision

September 1st, 2006



You didn't actually think that I would put pictures of his circumcision here did you?


Ann and I, along with my Mom and Dad, went to the pediatrician's office for James' circumcision. We decided to have a little ceremoney in which we would interpret the ancient practice of circumcision in a way that made sense for our faith and family.


So we went in to the doctor's office, did our thing, and then Dad prayed a prayer of blessing. Then everyone left (except me) and the doctor commenced cutting. Wow! I finally understand the trite saying that parents pull out sometimes-- "this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you." The doctor strapped his little legs down, and I was responsible for holding his hands back, so he would not injure himself. I almost could not bear it when I realized the pain we were inflicting on him. I know that he won't remember it, but wow, I sure will. I'm glad I was present for this because I want James to know that I will be with him no matter what happens, including the painful things. s


Below is the text of the ceremony that we had together.


Circumcision is the Old Testament symbol of covenant between God and his people.  This symbol was unique to Israel and was one that made God’s people distinctive from those around them. For James Howard, circumcision is a symbol of hope for his future, a symbol of our commitment to him today, and a confession that God can and will redeem pain in our lives.


For us, circumcision is a symbol of hope.  It is a symbol of hope of the possibility of a future covenant between James Howard and his Creator—of a future circumcision of the heart.  With this symbol we (James Howard’s parents, grandparents, and family) confess our that James will one day know the One who has created him, the One who has brought him into this world, the One who has brought him into our family. 


Circumcision is a symbol of hope that James Howard will not only know deeply the God who has made him, but that he will also discover and follow the dreams and visions his Creator has for his life.  This path is distinctive. It is different from all around him; it will not be the same journey that God has taken each of us on.  It will be uniquely his.  We confess our hope that James Howard will not only know the God that created him but also that he will know himself as well.


Secondly , we view this circumcision as a symbol of present reality of the covenant between James Howard and us (his parents, grandparents, and family) .  We commit to love him unconditionally.  We commit to give him in both word and deed a glimpse of the One Who Has Created him.  We commit to do our part to help you meet the One who has made you.


Thirdly, circumcision is our confession that God can and will redeem pain in both his and our lives.  The pain that he will feel in a few minutes will soon be forgotten.  But future pain may not be.  It is our confession that God can transform ashes into beauty.  God has taken the ashes that have accrued through Ann’s and my 10 year struggle with infertility and given us  James Howard—a beautiful gorgeous reminder of His faithfulness. So it is our confession that God will transform any future pain James Howard may experience into a beautiful expression of the Kingdom of God in his life.

So in this moment, we choose again the God of Heaven and Earth and His faithfulness not only to us, but to James Howard as well. 


James Howard, we give you this symbol in a way that is near and dear to you—in a personal and intimate place on your body because you are so near and dear to both us and God.