The New Age
Christmas Eve
24 December 2018
Everyone is waiting for the new age. In the 1960s it was the "age of Aquarius." Perhaps you remember the pop hit sung by the "Fifth Dimension," by that same name. In the 1990s it was President George H. W. Bush's "new world order." Karl Marx promised an era in which an utopia of an idyllic, leaderless, and unrestrained society would come to pass. But already those promises of newness are fading and have themselves become old, even antique. All human claims to the new age presuppose that humans will bring it about by their own efforts or works. It's no wonder then that these much-vaunted announcements of new ages, eras, or times all fail to bear fruit. We have plenty of the "same old, same old," because we humans are prisoners of our old birth from primeval Adam.
 
The new age can only arise from God Himself. And it arises not from human effort, but by divine and decisive action. The world was re-made by the birth of one Man, when he was born in a way the world had never seen. Unsullied by the corruption of the Fall, He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary. He is the new Adam. He who grieved when His Word was rejected in the Garden, came as the Word in flesh, to restore the Word of Life to all the sons and daughters of Adam. In the re-creation of the age, the garden of perfect fellowship with God was restored by the birth of that one solitary child born of the Virgin. The Word which Adam doubted in the old age and the serpent tried to unsay, in the new age God said again, this time through enfleshment. Virginal nativity makes the new order in that one Life.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

  Leo the Great
"When the time came which had been preordained for men's redemption, the Son of God enters these lower parts of the world, descending from His heavenly throne and yet not quitting His Father's glory, begotten in a new order, by a new nativity. In a new order, because being invisible in His own nature He became visible in ours. He, whom nothing could contain, was content to be contained. Existing before all time the Lord of all things began to be in time. He hid His immeasurable majesty and took on the form of a servant. Being God, that cannot suffer, He did not disdain to be man that can. Immortal as He is, to subject Himself to the laws of death.
 
"And by a new nativity He was begotten, conceived by a Virgin, born of a Virgin, without paternal desire, without injury to the mother's chastity: because such a birth as knew no taint of human flesh, became One who was to be the Savior of men, while it possessed in itself the nature of human substance. For when God was born in the flesh, God Himself was the Father, as the archangel witnessed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy- the Son of God' (Lk 1:35). The origin is different but the nature like: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about. For a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore a Son, and a Virgin she remained.
 
"Consider here not the condition of her that bore a Son, but the will of Him that was born. For He was born Man as He willed and was able. If you inquire into the truth of His nature, you must acknowledge the matter to be human. If you search for the mode of His birth, you must confess the power to be God's. For the Lord Jesus Christ came to do away with, not to endure our pollutions. He came not to succumb to our faults but to heal them. He came that He might cure every weakness of our corruption and all the sores of our defiled souls. For this reason it was fitting for Him, who brought to men's bodies the new gift of unsullied purity to be born by a new order.
 
"The uncorrupt nature of Him who was born had to guard the primal virginity of the Mother, and the infused power of the Divine Spirit had to preserve in spotlessness and holiness that sanctuary which He had chosen for Himself. This Spirit determined to raise the fallen, to restore the broken, and by overcoming the allurements of the flesh to bestow on us in abundant measure the power of chastity, in order that the virginity which in others cannot be retained in child-bearing, might be attained by them at their second birth" 

Leo the Great, 
Sermons on the Nativity
Luke 2:1-7

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (ESV)
Prayer
Christ born of Mary, make new what we have made corrupt and subject to age and death by our sin of Adam, by being the New Adam of an era re-made. Amen.
 
For Florence Brimberry who is recovering from broken arms, that the Lord Jesus would grant her full healing
 
For those who long to hear the angels but are fearful of the church, that the peace of Christ, the newborn King, would encourage them
 
For the needs of all our friends in Nicaragua and especially for Pastor Marvin Donaire and all the pastors of the Lutheran Church of Nicaragua, that the Lord would be with them and bless them in the season of the holy Nativity
Art: MARATTI, Carlo  The Holy Night (1650s)
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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