On this 10th day of Christmas – this second Sunday of Christmas – we continue to keep the 12 day feast of the Incarnation.
God has come in real human flesh as the babe of Bethlehem, and by this coming has hallowed all human flesh!
God has come, born to displaced and oppressed parents, seeking refuge in a time of great need, and by this coming has hallowed the human flesh of all who seek and are in need of refuge!
God has come, and the world was so caught up in its own stuff, that there was no place for the Christ-child or his parents. And note, that’s what it says, contrary to what you probably have heard so often – that there was no room for them in the inn – what the text actually says is that there was no place for them, and so in and through this coming he has become, himself, a place of belonging for us all!
God has come, the only-begotten Son of the Father, given unto us that the whole world, the cosmos, would not be condemned, but saved by this coming!
God has come, and all darkness is overcome by the light of this coming, for this One is, himself, the light and life of all people!
This One is named Jesus, as the angel said. Jesus, the name that means God saves! For this One is come to be the savior of the world!…
God speaks, through the prophet Jeremiah, words of future promise. The people are about to be conquered and exiled. Their enemies have amassed along their borders and are ready to strike. The people have not yet been conquered, they have not yet been exiled, their city and their Temple have not yet been sacked and destroyed, but God is already speaking words of restoration. God is already looking to the day
- when God’s people will be saved, when they’ll sing aloud on the height of Zion
- when they’ll be radiant
- when they’ll have their fill of all that they need
- when they’ll be like a watered garden
- when their mourning will be turned to joy and comfort, and their sorrow turned to gladness…
Paul, writing to the Church in Ephesus, is so overcome by the riches of God’s grace that the entirety of what we heard read today – verses 3 through 14 of chapter 1 – are all one sentence in the original Greek. It just pours forth from him in wave after wave of blessing and grace!
God, the Father of Jesus,
- has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing
- chosen since before time
- destined to be God’s adopted children
Because that’s what God wants to do through this One, this Jesus, who
- redeems us through his blood
- forgiving us
- sharing with us the fullness of the inheritance of God’s children according to Christ’s work and counsel and will
That we might live for the praise of the glory of God who is
- the living Word
- the source of salvation
- the seal of the Spirit toward the final day of redemption when we, together with all that is, was and ever will be, will be gathered together into God’s eternal gracious presence in Christ!
Themes Paul picks up on, again, in Galatians, as Paul reminds us that we are not slaves of a demanding God, but children of a loving heavenly Father, an Abba, a dear, caring, loving and gentle daddy who has come to set us free from the curse of the law which could never set us free, doing so by adopting us as God’s own beloved children…
This adoption, of course, continues in the lives of all of God’s baptized children, including Amelia Rose who’ll be baptized next Sunday. And like the waters of a raging flood, God’s grace comes pouring forth; only, this flood is far different from the floods we’ve witnessed this past week along the Mississippi. This flood is a life-giving flood. This flood pours forth washing away sin and death, and bringing redemption and life, for this flood comes from the One who sends his Son, named Jesus, the name given by the angel. The name that means God saves!