Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent

Posted on December 17, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5 (NKJV)
2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.
These holy words from Isaiah give us a picture of the Church. People have mistaken the purpose of the Church to be about particular nations or cultures, about social activities, about self-help, or about being entertained. None of these accurately sum up the Church.
This description of the Lord’s Church given by Isaiah is confirmed by Jesus Christ. All nations would be called to behold the Son of God lifted up on the cross. In Him they would be made disciples, taught to observe all He commands, and baptized into Him for the forgiveness of sins.
The Church is about teaching. We hear the Law of God proclaimed and we are rebuked and called to repentance. By God’s grace and Holy Spirit we hear His Word and have faith to trust in Jesus Christ alone for our life and salvation. And in that Gospel we are made able to walk according to His teaching. All the other matters of culture, activities, and aesthetics should faithfully serve and proclaim the purpose of Law and Gospel teaching, not replace it as a false focus.
As the Church is one holy house in Christ Jesus, we also look forward to the life of the world to come where there will be true peace and unity. Conflicts, suffering, and sin will be no more, and we will be one people in the blessed household of our Lord!
We pray: Lord, we beseech Thee, give ear to our prayers and lighten the darkness of our hearts by Thy gracious visitation; who livest and reignest with the Father 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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