The Nativity of our Lord
Christmas Day, December 25th
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John 1:1-14)
The appointed psalm for worship today, Psalm 2, says, “I myself have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Let me announce the decree of the Lord: he said to me, “You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.”
Martin Luther writes this introduction, “Psalm 2 is a prophecy of Christ, that he would suffer, and through his suffering become King and Lord of the whole world. Within this psalm stands a warning against the kings and lords of this world: If, instead of honoring and serving this King, they seek to persecute and blot him out, they shall perish. This psalm also contains the promise that those who believe in the true King will be blessed.”
The good news in the reading from John is “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” In today’s world, not all have welcomed the Prince of peace. There are those who seek to persecute and blot out Jesus and his followers. It may seem that these opponents of Christ Jesus have the upper hand and that the darkness may be overpowering the Light. Nothing could be further from the truth! We have the hope and promise of resurrection! Jesus is already victorious over sin, death and the devil! His kingdom has already come — and its fulfillment is sure! Those who believe in the true King will be blessed!
It has been a pleasure to walk with you through Advent, mediating briefly on the psalms loved so deeply by Luther. I pray that you have gained a new appreciation for the Psalter, the song-book of Israel, Jesus and the early Church. I also pray that these Advent devotions might, in some small way, renew interest in praying the psalms in our homes and congregations today, as they are so important and intimately related to the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord!
Prayer: Lord God, we give you thanks and praise for the Word made flesh, Jesus our Light and our Life! Amen.