Emmanuel Lutheran Church
A Caring Family Sharing God's Love and Forgiveness
Fort Wayne IN 46802
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..."
- Ephesians 2:8
In the mind of a child, Advent seems to last forever. December feels like an eternity, and each day creeps by while Christmas morning sits on the horizon like a mountain that never gets closer, no matter how fast you drive toward it. As we get older, the ache of expectation changes.
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Galatians 4:4-5
The portrait of our lives is painted on the canvas of time. The sun comes up and the sun goes down and another day passes. In fact, everything we do in this life is done under the weight of a ticking clock.
Â When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."Â So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. Luke 2:15-16
Humans are fascinated by transformations. Perusing the checkout lanes can prove it.Â Nearly every magazine cover will show a BEFORE and AFTER picture of some sort: a kitchen makeover, a garage remodel, and always the exposÃ© of which Hollywood stars have the perfect earthly body and which have taken a turn for the worse.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:13-14
It is hard to place ourselves in the position of the shepherds in these two verses. Their night had begun with an angel appearing before them, with the glory of the Lord shining round about them, and they were "sore afraid" (KJV). Nowâ€”BOOM!â€”a multitude of angels appeared and began to sing!
Brothers and Sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
I am chosen?
I was born in Missouri, for Pete's sake! I know God knows this. I am the biggest worrier ever! I worry about tomorrow. I worry about today. I worry about yesterday. I even find myself worrying about last week, which I have already worried about. And did I happen to mention next month's worries? (Right now, for instance, I am worrying about this devotion.)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18
As I reflect upon this reading, it occurs to me that our inheritance is truly glorious. We are to spend eternity with God in a perfect place, ourselves having been made clean. No pain, no discomfort, no fear.
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.Â Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Psalm 96: 1-2
Only five more days until Christmas. Have you completed your gift buying? Are you looking forward to Christmas Eve, to hearing your child sing a "new song"? Or are you alone, feeling the loss of a loved one who has departed this earthly life?