Posts tagged LCMS
Posts tagged LCMS
He comes, and he has died on the cross; shed his blood that we may have mercy.
He comes. So be glad. Rejoice. As St. Paul says: look: be joyful always.
During Advent, we can fail to see the story that is going on, and instead see a pretty; perhaps a cute scene; with some barn yard animals, and some “precious moments” angels, and some wise men with gifts; and, of course, a beautiful sleeping baby who never cries. We even hear that picturesque sentiment in the song, right? Jesus couldn’t have been a FUSSY baby: Cause we know: “But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.”
But remember: REMEMBER what this little precious baby was sent here for. This precious baby was born with a mission. Really, here we have, in the Christ, one baby, BORN TO DIE. A baby born, not into a scene of tranquility, but into a world of death and sin.
A situation, even as he lays there in the hay, where Satan and the evil of the world are trying to destroy him! He comes into the world, and immediately King Herod attempts to kill him: to KILL this baby! SATAN desires to KILL BABY JESUS, using the forces of this world! WHAT A WORLD HE IS SENT INTO! HOW THE OPPOSITION TO HIS MINISTRY BEGINS FROM HIS BIRTH!
Look at the example of the disciples. How about THAT for conviction. THEY lived like they believed it. We hear in the Gospels how they left everything to follow Jesus. And it’s one of the few instances where Jesus seems to give the disciples a good old fashioned pat on the back for doing so. And their sacrifice goes beyond this! Every single one but John was martyred. Every single one lived in such a way that NO ONE could think: “Well, this is just a get rich quick scheme. They’re just after my wallet.” If Christianity was a get rich quick scheme for the disciples, it was the worst one ever! All the people at the top of the pyramid seemed content to march off to death!
But what strength there is in their conviction! And what a witness theirs is because of their sacrifice! And do you know why they could give up everything as they did? Because they knew that they already had everything; and that nothing could ever take it away from them. Not their sins; not their doubts; not the world; not Satan; NOT EVEN DEATH. All because of Jesus Christ. And you know what? That’s the same Jesus who stands in for you. May we always live like it, that the WORLD MAY HEAR, by the power of God’s spirit. Amen.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, O heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
And so, like a thief in the night, here it is: Thanksgiving is upon us. Family, food, football, and parades. What a great holiday! A moment where we gather together and reflect on all the blessings we have been given.
THIS is the promise of the Holy Spirit: that you are SAFE. You are safe in your faith; for it is not by your strength that you maintain it. You are safe in your identity as God’s child. You are safe, not because you have somehow “achieved” the Holy Spirit;
But instead because the Holy Spirit has come to you. You are safe not because YOU have the Holy Spirit, but instead because the Holy Spirit HAS YOU.
For Jesus has given all, and he has done so in joy. Leave here today, then, pondering your worth, and still too in joy, contemplating this question:
Do you have any idea how much Jesus loves you? So much so, that he died. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Be where Jesus is. Come and worship him: him who died for you. He is not merely some sort of life coach who is there to help you out when you need him. HE IS GOD. He is the purpose and meaning of all. He is life and hope and he IS COMING!
For you know the end of this story that is your life; and the story that is this world. It ends with the skies breaking forth like shining light; and the return of Jesus Christ; flowing with all the heavenly hosts as his train behind him. This story ends with us being raised from the dead; the perishable clothed with the imperishable; and the mortal with immortality. This story ends with us living in a Kingdom that knows no end, with our King walking among us: Jesus Christ!
"While you cannot put a bandage on a man or woman’s wounded spirit, and while you cannot surgically remove remorse or despair or anger that words may cause, and while you cannot put a cast on a broken relationship. But you know what you CAN use to heal these things? WORDS. Words bring about healing, because, again, in WORDS there is power."