Reflections: January 2, 2021
Saturday of the First Week after Christmas
By Bradley Drew
Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. (From the Introit for the Second Sunday after Christmas)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Tomorrow's Introit teaches us that a baby can "still the enemy and the avenger." What sort of avenger and enemy have we that even a baby can silence him? Perhaps a better question would be, what sort of baby has been born to us at Christmas? The answer still silences the devil. For Jesus isn't just any baby. He is God's own Son.
Even as an infant Jesus is telling the devil to give it a rest. In fact, the word "Sabbath," or "rest," is in the word here for "still." God is not going to forsake you. He is not going to abandon you to all or any of your sins. He is going to redeem you from them. God Himself will be your rest. God Himself will be your Sabbath. God Himself will be your Savior. Even now, looking into the manger, you see that promise. Whatever charge, whatever accusation the devil, the world, or the Law itself can bring against you to destroy you, that's what God sent Jesus for. For you. For all of us. No sin, no sinner left out. Jesus is born in flesh and blood to bear all of our sin and to be everyone's Savior. "Give it a rest, Satan!" For when Jesus trades in the wood of the manger for the wood of the Cross, He forever leaves our sin buried beneath His death.
That's God's promise to you every day now in Baptism. It's His promise to you in every Absolution and sermon you hear from your pastor. It's His promise to you at the Lord's Supper, "for you, for the forgiveness of sins." Jesus gets death. You get life. Jesus gets sin. You get righteousness. Jesus gets Satan and hell. You get the Father and a place in paradise. That's the promise God made to you the moment He sent Jesus into your flesh. "Give it a rest, Satan. Be still. I am here, now. And I will save My people from their sins." Who are we that God should so consider us? A better question is, who is this, wrapped in swaddling clothes? He is Jesus, God's own Son. And in bringing Jesus to our flesh and blood, God has forever brought us to Himself. All of us. He sees no gap anymore between us. God and man together now. You and God together now, in Jesus. That is the promise of Christmas. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ! Drop your ugly accusation, I am not so soon enticed. Now that to the Font I've travelled, All your might has come unraveled, And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me! ("God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It" LSB 594, st.3)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
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