Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Feast of the Nativity of our Lord

Posted on December 25, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Malachi 3:1-7 (NKJV)
3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.
2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the LORD, as in the days of old, as in former years.
5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien—because they do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.
6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.
“But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?'”
Today’s reading is from the last of the prophetic books of the Bible. Malachi, whose name means “messenger of God,” speaks of God sending His messenger. Sending messengers was something God had done over the centuries. Year after year, God would send His messengers to speak His Word to the people. The primary message was to call people to repent of their sins and trust in His mercy that He Himself would win for them by His death on the Cross.
Year after year the message would come to His people, creating faith to believe in God’s mercy while sadly being rejected by many who wished to trust in the gods of their own making. Finally, in the fullness of time, the message would take on human flesh and dwell with His people. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” (Is. 9:6). The promise of a Savior was fulfilled that first Christmas. He was both Message and Messenger, for everything one needs to know about salvation was “wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
As we take time to celebrate the birth of our Lord, we need also thank Him for continuing to send messengers to call us to repentance and to trust in His forgiveness. Your pastor is a messenger sent from God to “bring you good tidings of great joy.” Merry Christmas!
We pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free, who are held in the old bondage under the yoke of sin; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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