Christmas, Promise Fulfilled

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 the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  Luke 1:26-33

 

Moses died on the mountain from which he was permitted to view from a distance the promised land (Deuteronomy 32:48-52).  When the Bible speaks of God’s promises, it’s a matter of life and death…

 

The language that reports this ancient history if clear.   Anyone who has seen God must die; the sinner dies before the promise of God.  Let’s understand what that means for us so close to Christmas.

 

The great promise of God – a promise that is infinitely more important than the promise of the promised land – is supposed to be fulfilled at Christmas…

 

The Bible is full of the proclamation that the great miracle has happened as an act of God, without any human doing…

 

What happened?  God had seen the misery of the world and had come himself in order to help.  Now he was there, not as a mighty one, but in the obscurity of humanity, where there is sinfulness, weakness, wretchedness, and misery in the world.

 

That is where God goes, and there he lets himself be found by everyone.  And this proclamation moves through the world anew, year after year, and again this year also comes to us.

 

Let us pray:  Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.  With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that binds us, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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