Let Us Be Glad
Katharina von Bora Luther
20 December 2018
The joy above all sadness is ours in the season of the incarnation. In the incarnation, Christ assumes the very instrument of our demise by taking our flesh. He does battle in the flesh with the one who perverted flesh. He takes on our human nature, which had been weakened, corrupted and made subject to death and the devil by our sin. Clothed in the weakness of the flesh, He did battle against our corruptor.
 
How improbable such a rescue is! How impossible to conceive that the corpus of death becomes pristine through the incarnation of the Virgin. In her womb is humanity re-created. The garden of Eden is replanted when the divine messenger breathes upon her the message of the Life in his promise that the holy One to be born of her would be the Son of the Most High. Mary becomes the new Eve, and Christ the new Adam.
 
In that flesh as it was intended to be: holy and without sin, our Lord Jesus Christ invades the dominion of our enemy. He enters the battleground for us while setting aside the exercise of his divine power, and "taking mortal form for mortals' sake" rescues that flesh from both corruption and corruptor. Our champion has triumphed. Our mortal flesh has had immortality conferred upon it again. The new era has begun. Eden has returned. All things are made new. The Life has come among us that we might have life. When such tidings are proclaimed, who could be sad?

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Leo the Great
"Our Savior was born. Let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness, when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality and brings to us the joy of promised eternity. No one is kept from sharing in this happiness. There is for all one common measure of joy, because just as our Lord, the destroyer of sin and death, finds no one free from the charge [of sin], so He has come to free us all. Let the saint exult because he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad because he is invited to pardon. Let the Gentile take courage because he is called to life.
 
"For the Son of God in the fullness of time which the inscrutable depth of the Divine counsel has determined, has taken on him the nature of man, thereby to reconcile it to its Author, in order that the inventor of death, the devil, might be conquered through that (nature) which he had conquered. In this conflict undertaken for us, the fight was fought on great and wondrous principles of fairness; for the Almighty Lord enters the lists with His savage foe not in His own majesty but in our humility, opposing him with the same form and the same nature, which shares our mortality, though it is free from all sin. Truly foreign to this nativity is that which we read of all others, 'no one is clean from stain, not even the infant who has lived but one day upon earth' (Job 15:14).
 
"Nothing therefore of the lust of the flesh has passed into that peerless nativity, nothing of the law of sin has entered. A royal Virgin of the stem of David is chosen, to be impregnated with the sacred seed and to conceive the Divine-human offspring in mind first and then in body. And lest by ignorance of the heavenly counsel she should tremble at such strange breath, she learns from conversation with the angel that what is to be wrought in her is of the Holy Spirit. Nor does she believe it loss of honor that she is soon to be the Mother of God. For why should she be in despair over the novelty of such conception, to whom the power of the most High has promised to effect it? Her implicit faith is confirmed also by the testimony of a precursory miracle. Elizabeth receives unexpected fertility, in order that there might be no doubt that He who had given conception to the barren, would give it even to a virgin." 

 Leo the Great, Sermon on the Feast of the Nativity
Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, Your holy nativity has made new my flesh, that it might not be subject to corruption and death, grant that through this message from the Word of God, I might receive the peace that surpasses human understanding and the joy that proceeds from the gift of Yourself to me. Amen.
 
For all who have been bereaved of loved ones, that they would grieve in the hope of the Life given in Christ the Virgin-born
 
For Rev. Robert W. Paul, Headmaster of Memorial Lutheran School, the faculty and staff, that they would be strengthened in their callings
 
For Kyle and Laura Molitor, who have been granted the gift of a healthy baby girl, Eloise Claire, that Laura would recover and the baby be kept safe until the day when new life is granted in the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit
Art: Raffaellino dell Garbo  The Annunciation (c. 1510)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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