Sunday, December 20, 2020

Monday prior to Christmas 1


Jeremiah 31:5-17; Hosea 11:1 The prophet reminds us, “When Israel was a child I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”This verse coincides with the Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday. As Jesus enters into Egypt and then returns to Nazareth, we recall the nation of Israel called by God to leave Egypt into the Promised Land.

Throughout your life the LORD has promised to direct you. Just as the LORD directed the wanderings of His people in the Old Testament so He directed His Son; His ultimate destiny was the cross on Calvary’s hill. Yet even as an infant the LORD directed him. So also the LORD has promised to direct your life. You are not alone; the Lord is with you. This week of Christmas if you think you have nothing in life; behold His manger as God's love for you. When life seems to change, turn to the Scriptures that never do. When you hurt and disappoint others, yourself, hear the Gospel that Jesus forgives you.

The story of Christmas contains the revelation of restoration and hope even in the midst of trouble and loss. "Why did the Christ-child do all this? Forsake everything He had to come into a sad world, suffer, and die? Because He knew, from eternity, that in His resurrection, His Father would give Him the most amazing of gifts, something far greater than anything He left behind: you.

Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He leaves His throne on high,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give you second birth.

The Baby Jesus received no good gifts. But that's not what He came to do. Instead, He received your sins, so that now, He, the giver of all good things, could offer you eternal life and salvation."[1]

From the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh’
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!


O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting; come and enlighten those who sin in darkness and in the shadow of death.

[1] From a Christmas homily written by former fieldworker Pr. Tim Daub Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Hecla, South Dakota

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