Text: Luke 2:22-40 (34-35)
Date: Christmas I + 12/31/17
Simeon beheld the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to him as he took up the child Jesus in his arms and blessed God saying, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” Yes, the salvation from God was and is this Child. But how can our eyes see God’s salvation? For that first Christmas was a long, long time ago. We even sing in one of the Christmas songs the wish, “Oh, that we were there! Oh, that we were there!” We weren’t there. And so how can we say with Simeon, “my eyes have seen Your salvation”? A hint is that we sing with Simeon these words after every communion! Continue reading My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation→
Text: Matthew 1:18-25
Date: The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Eve + 12/24/17
The angel said to Joseph, “do not fear.” But what’s there to be afraid of? Well, plenty. First is the appearance of an angel, a messenger from God. These created beings of God have personality, that is, they are persons with intelligence and will. We know from scripture that they also have great numbers and great might. What they do not have are physical bodies like ours. But then, because of that, though like us they can only be in one place at a time, nevertheless they can change places instantly. Distance does not limit. So, when you stop to consider this report in detail, that encounter alone would cause a certain level of fear. “Joseph, do not be afraid.” Continue reading This Most Holy Night→
Text: Luke 2:21
Date: Circumcision and Name of Jesus + First Sunday after Christmas + The Eighth Day of
Christmas + 1/1/17
The kingdom of God comes to us in just the same manner as the Christ of Christmas: all by Himself without our prayer. Before we even knew we needed a Savior God sent His Son. For “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom 5:8, 10). That’s the first reason that the Gospel of salvation is really good news. God knows our true need. God knows your real need. And He comes to fill and answer your need out of love. Continue reading Thy Kingdom Come: Jesus! Name of Wondrous Love→
Thy Kingdom Come.
Now in the manger we may see
God’s Son from eternity,
The gift from God’s eternal throne
Here clothed in our poor flesh and bone.
Alleluia! (LSB 382:2)
In a way Mark Twain’s famous novel “The Prince and the Pauper” parallels the mystery of Christ and of Christmas. The main difference, of course, is that Twain tells of two young boys who are identical in appearance, one a pauper who lives with his abusive father and the other Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII. In Jesus Christ, however, the two are one, He is both the King Himself from God’s Eternal throne taking on our human nature of His human mother, Mary. Continue reading Thy Kingdom Come: "Gift from God's Eternal Throne"→
Text: Luke 2:1-14
Date: Christmas Midnight + 12/24/16
Thy Kingdom Come.
Welcome to earth, O noble Guest.
Politics and governmental intervention. Wherever you go you can’t get away from it. Caesar Augustus when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Mandatory registration. For what purpose? We’re not told. But tax money cannot be far from the picture. And now we ourselves have been dragged through another national election. But this time politics have divided people more than nearly any time in our history. What are the two things to avoid in family gatherings? Politics and religion, they say. Why is that? I’ll bet it’s because a person’s opinions of both are on the one hand so personally held and on the other hand seemingly without any real, objective, principled bases in reality. Mere personal opinion. Continue reading Thy Kingdom Come: "O Noble Guest"→