Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Vigil of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

Posted on December 24, 2015 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Isaiah 28:14-19 (NKJV)

14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, 15 because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. 17 Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. 18 Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. 19 As often as it goes out it will take you; For morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.”


Do not make a covenant with death so that you believe it will not come for you until you’re ready. Do not put your trust in any bargain you can make with the god of your imagination so that you will escape what your sins deserve. All such agreements and bargains are null and void because they rely upon idols of the heart that have no power or upon things over which you have no power.

There is but one way to circumvent death. There is but one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose birth we celebrate tomorrow. You cannot negotiate with the Christ child. He comes bearing the gifts of innocence, blessedness, and righteousness for all. He will resist any attempt to be made into an idol. He will not be a talisman to protect from evil things, for He Himself will willingly endure the evilest of things. Neither will He overlook your sins and wink at them. He is conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary to save you from your sins, not by overlooking them, but by taking every single one of them onto Himself so that He can die with every one of them on His shoulders.

Christ is the cornerstone that the Lord sets in Zion. It is foolishness to men, that your salvation would rest upon a Child in a cattle trough. It is folly to human wisdom to trust an Infant with anything. The Lord’s ways are not ours though. This Child is the foundation of the hope of mankind, for in this Child alone is release from death and the forgiveness of every sin.

Heavenly Father, grant us grace to trust in Christ and not the inventions of our hearts. Amen.

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