An Un-Christmas-Like Idea

PLEASE NOTE:  This Advent season at Faith Lutheran we are using Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “God is in the Manger” devotional booklet for daily devotions and weekly sermon themes.  What follows has been taken from that booklet.

 

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  Luke 2:8-14

 

When the old Christendom spoke of the coming again of the Lord Jesus, it always thought first of all of a great day of judgment.  And, as un-Christmas-like as this idea may appear to us, it comes from early Christianity and must be taken with utter seriousness….

 

The coming of God is truly not only a joyous message, but is, first, frightful news for anyone who has a conscience.  And only when we have felt the frightfulness of the matter can we know the incomparable favor.

 

God comes in the midst of evil, in the midst of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world.  And in judging it, he loves us, he purifies us, he sanctifies us, he comes to us with his grace and love.  He makes us happy as only children can be happy.

 

Let us pray:  Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.  By your merciful protection alert us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and redeem us for your life of justice, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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