Reflections: December 30, 2020
Wednesday of the First Week after Christmas
By Bradley Drew
For the commandments. . . are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Romans 13:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. "We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we. . ." interrupt this Christmas cheer to. . .wait, no we don't. "We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." For with the birth of God's Son in human flesh, wiped away are all our sins now, wiped away are death and hell and all the judgment and condemnation we'd certainly face had God not sent Jesus to take all that for us. But He has. "Far as the curse is found" ("Joy to the World" LSB 387, st.3).
Here, then, is how Paul describes life for the baptized in 1 Corinthians 7:19: "For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. "Here's how he describes it in Galatians 5:6: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love." Those who saw the Law as an opportunity for them to show off their obedience in the flesh sure made a big deal out of circumcision, didn't they? Such holiness!
The baptized, taking the Law far more seriously, see in it an opportunity for their neighbor. There's no showing off here, because there are no works that would draw attention to or elevate the baptized. Only their neighbor. "Leave us out of it," say the baptized. The baptized do not turn to the Law for their own sake or benefit. We have Jesus on that score for us. Jesus in the manger. Jesus under the law. Jesus on the Cross. Jesus in the Word, in the water, and at the Supper. Jesus with forgiveness, life and salvation for all. No sinner left out. As the song says, "far as the curse is found."
The baptized turn to the Law because it is God's teaching on how to be there for the sake and benefit of our neighbor. Merry Christmas, then, you baptized child of God! You have Jesus at work for you and your sake, your benefit. You are merrily free from all that stress. You can't lose. You won't lose. Find someone near you, then, to love according to the works of the Law--not for your own sake or benefit, but for theirs. Be a little Jesus for those around you. Make it Christmas for them every time your paths cross by your love for them as taught you by the Law of God. How merry for them, such a life! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as the curse is found. ("Joy to the World" LSB 387, st.3)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021
Reflections: February 1, 2021Video Short: Stretching Out To RepentVideo Short: Parable of Those Gifted in the VineyardReflections: February 2, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint Blaise of SebasteSpeaking of Faith: The Liturgy Is Tried and True EvangelismReflections: February 3, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday De-platformingReflections: February 4, 2021Video Short: Hearing Law and GospelVideo Short: The Anti-Catholic ParadoxDean's List: Called to ServeReflections: February 5, 2021Reflections: February 6, 2021Reflections: February 7, 2021Reflections: February 8, 2021Video Short: Ears on the Sower... And the SeedReflections: February 9, 2021Helpful Things: Sex, Sexuality, and BaptismVideo Short: The Simple Definition of Faith That Will Rescue You From Your DoubtsReflections: February 10, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Wokeism and ChristianityVideo Short: What Your Pastor Thinks When Preaching the LawReflections: February 11, 2021Reflections: February 12, 2021Video Short: Valentines and LoveUnder the Cross: Valentine's Day StinksReflections: February 13, 2021Reflections: February 14, 2021Reflections: February 15, 2021Video Short: Lent is Almost HereVideo Short: Lent For Evangelical ChristiansReflections: February 16, 2021Welcome to Lent - Supplement to the ReflectionsVideo Short: How to Fast in LentReflections: February 17, 2021Reflections: February 18, 2021Video Short: Lutherans Aren't the Cult of LutherReflections: February 19, 2021