Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reason to Rejoice!

"Come from on high to me; I can not rise to Thee. Cheer my wearied spirit, O pure and holy Child; Through Thy grace and merit, Blest Jesus, Lord most mild, Draw me unto Thee! Draw me unto Thee! ~Now Sing We, Now, Rejoice, verse 2; German and Latin text, 14th cent., Lutheran Service Book #386 What a magnificent explanation of why we have reason to rejoice at Christmas. At first glance it may seem rather depressing: What? I can not rise up to God? I haven't been naughty this year! I've been nice! Well, let's be honest, friends. None of us have been good enough, if we are to be measured against God's standard of perfection. None of us have been perfectly patient, good, kind, forgiving, nor charitable in thought, word, and deed ("None is righteous, no not one; no one understand; no one seeks for God." Romans 3:10). As each year passes I become more painfully aware of my lousy motives, even in the *good* things that I do. Sin is a wearisome thing. Yet in the hymn we cry out to God to cheer us, through His good works, which are good enough! It is through His perfect life, sinless sacrifice on the cross, and continual coming to us through His Word, Holy Communion, and Holy Baptism, that we are forgiven. And by that forgiveness we are drawn to Him. Thanks be to God for the good news that He came to us that first Christmas, comes to us now by His Word and Sacraments, and will come again on the Last Day to draw His children to Himself for all eternity.

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