Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of the Circumcision of our Lord

Posted on January 1, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-13 (NKJV)
55:1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David. 4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people. 5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.”
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”
Our Lord Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” And His kingdom is found near us in Jesus Christ! His kingdom comes to us in His Church, where His flesh and blood still abide, and are given to us in the Sacrament. There His truth and righteousness are taught to us and proclaimed. We hear the justice of His Commandments preached in order to call us to repent, and we hear the mercy of His promises fulfilled in the Gospel of Christ crucified for us.
People think they are seeking God by “being spiritual” or doing good deeds. But such efforts are typically done according to man’s broken thoughts and ways. Our Lord tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” We are called, and made able by His Spirit, to seek His thoughts and His ways, not ours. And we are shown His thoughts and ways in the holy place where He reveals His salvation, light, and glory to all of us in the Word and Sacraments of our Lord, Christ Jesus, in His Church.
We pray: O Lord God, who hast made Thine Only-Begotten Son the Savior of mankind and didst give Him the name of Jesus, mercifully grant that we who worship His name on Earth may joyfully behold Him in Heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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