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The Nativity of Our Lord / Christmas Eve

December 25, 2008

The Nativity of Our Lord / Christmas Eve                            Trinity Lutheran Church
24 December 2008                                                                 Murdock, NE

                                                                                   + Jesu Juva +

                                                                  “O Jesus Christ, Thy manger is
                                                            My paradise at which my soul reclineth.
                                                              For there, O Lord, Doth lie the Word
                                          Made flesh for us; herein Thy grace forth shineth”
(LSB #372:1)

We were lost in a garden.  Adam and Eve, of course, the paradise of Eden’s garden.  We were saved in a garden.  The Garden of Gethsemane of course.  And so every Christian should build a garden.  In the winter our homes blossom with poinsettias, firs, and other beautiful flowers.  In the spring we plant gardens and plant flowers in the yard.  But even in our “paradise for flowers,” flowers fade.  And so do we.

And so, even our “paradise” remains a place of death and decay. 

But Jesus did not abandon us or the world.  He chose to take our mortal flesh to Himself.  He was laid in a manger – a fitting place for Him who feeds us on Himself for life and joy forever. 

Jesus makes our paradise, even as we, along with the world, groan in labor pains, waiting for the revelation of the sons of God – the redemption of our bodies.

Weaned away from the “junk food” that nourishes vain hopes, we are drawn to feed on Him who chose to become our flesh and blood.  In His joy Jesus chose to suffer bitter death on the cross for you.  By conquering death He sweetened the bitterness of your own death. 

By His Good Friday cross Jesus killed the gods who devour you and in return give only death.  Devouring these idols, Jesus feeds you on Himself – on eternal life and joy. 

As the decay within and around you grows, so does your hope.  Stripped of vain hopes, you feed your hope on what is done – Good Friday – on what is given – His Body and His Blood in the Holy Sacrament – and what is already formed within you by faith – your bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

While you know bitter groans and are appalled by the decay, there is the paradise of His manger by which you feed on Him by faith.

                                                                     "O Jesus Christ, Thy manger is
                                                              My paradise at which my soul reclineth.
                                                                For there, O Lord, Doth lie the Word
                                                    Made flesh for us; herein Thy grace forth shineth”
(LSB #372:1)

 

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From → "B" Sermons

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