Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 65:8-25; Luke 3:1-20
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him. (Psalm 72:11 from the Introit for the Epiphany)
Merry Christmas in the Name + of Jesus. Amen. All nations. Not just some. Most religions out there carry with them some cultural connection that makes them what they are. Islam says that the Koran must be in Arabic. Buddhism and Hinduism, even in the West, bear the trappings of their Eastern cultures and roots. It is only the Christian faith which boldly declares that its Savior is for all people, no matter what language or culture they’re from.
Jesus was born a Jew—a good Hebrew and Israelite into the land of Judea in the first century. But He came for all people. Tomorrow we celebrate the arrival of some Gentile (non-Jewish) kings who acknowledged that Jesus was their king. And He is. He is the Savior of all nations. All people. All languages.
That’s because there is not one in this world who is not a sinner. Not one who has not turned away from the Lord. So He comes to bring them all back. Even those who reject Jesus now will kneel before Him on the Last Day.
Tomorrow, as you celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, Jesus being revealed to the Gentiles, rejoice in being a Gentile! Rejoice in being one for whom the Lord came. He came for everyone. He came for you. He came to die for you and rise again. He comes to wash, absolve, and feed you over and over. This is for you. This is for everyone!
There is great comfort in knowing that Jesus was born of a particular people. It means He is real and anchored in actual history. Yet it is an even greater comfort to know that He did not come just to save those people and turn them around but to bring us all into His Church—His new Israel. He came from a particular people to be the Savior of all people. That’s what Epiphany is all about. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
As with gladness men of old Did the guiding star behold; As with joy they hailed its light, Leading onward, beaming bright; So, most gracious Lord, may we Evermore be led by Thee. (As With Gladness Men of Old, LSB 397:1)