Reflections: December 25, 2020
The Nativity of Our Lord
By Bradley Drew
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!" (Luke 2:14)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. "Among those with whom He is pleased."Hear those words not in fear. "Uh, oh, is God pleased with me?" Hear them in the peace and joy of Christmas. Yes, God is pleased. For Jesus is "good news of a great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). And you are part of all people, yes?
Whoever you are, trust that God is pleased with you. Never because of you. Always because of Jesus. Who He is. His birth. His life. His death. His everything. Merry Christmas to all! Because Jesus plus nothing from us, except sin, equals everything. For all of us. That's the good news "a multitude of the heavenly host" brought to poor shepherds who were "out in the field." While quaking in their boots because the blinding "glory of the Lord shone around them" (Luke 2:9), those shepherds were rescued by the promise, "Fear not…For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).
Silencing their fear was a new song, "Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love's pure light Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth" ("Silent Night" LSB 363, st.3). Here was God, our God, now in flesh appearing. Why? To bear our sin and be our Savior. No poor miserable sinner left out. Not even you or me.
Those angels heard on high? We hear them still. For the Word of the Lord endures forever (Isaiah 40:8). We hear them daily in the Word and promise of Holy Baptism. "Clothed with Christ." We hear them in every Absolution and sermon our pastor speaks to us. "I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." We hear them in the promise of, "Fear not. This is My Body, My Blood, given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins."
Yes, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with those whom He is pleased!" He is pleased with you, now, because of Jesus. For in the birth of His Son God has forever taken you into Himself and saved you from yourself. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, grant that the birth of Your only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free from the bondage of sin; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for the Nativity of Our Lord)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
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