CHRISTMAS EVE

(24 December 2016)

Isaiah 7:10–14; Ps. 110:1-4; 1 John 4:7–16; Matthew 1:18–25

LSB 359: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

The Word of the Lord Is Fulfilled in the Flesh of Jesus

Though Ahaz would not ask, the Lord gives a sign to the House of David, that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). With this promise He signifies that salvation is by His grace alone; it is no work or achievement of man, but the Lord’s own work and His free gift. The promise is fulfilled as the Son of God is conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the sign is received in faith by the House of David in the person of Joseph (Matt. 1:20–24). “Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary” (Nicene Creed), God is with us (Immanuel) in the flesh of Jesus, Mary’s Son. Joseph believes that Word of God and so demonstrates a marvelous example in his immediate and quiet obedience, taking Mary to be his wife and caring for her in faith and love. He loves her because the love of God is manifest in this, that “the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world,” “to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9–12).


CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT

(25 December 2016)

Isaiah 9:2–7; Ps. 96:1-13; Titus 2:11–14; Luke 2:1–14, 15–20

LSB 358: From Heav'n Above to Earth I Come

The Light of Christ Shines Forth in the Darkness

Heaven and earth rejoice on this night, because the glory of the Holy Trinity is manifested in the human birth of “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), through whom the Father’s grace and mercy permeate the world. Death’s silence is nullified by this “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). And all we who have gone astray like lost and wandering sheep, who have “walked in the darkness” of doubt, fear, and sinful unbelief, behold “a great light” in the nativity of Jesus Christ (Is. 9:2). In Him “the grace of God has appeared” (Titus 2:11). For this child of Mary who is born for us, this dear Son of God who is given to us, bears the burden of our sin and death in His own body on the cross. By initiating and fulfilling His earthly journey from nativity to crucifixion, Christ establishes a government of peace, “with justice and with righteousness,” which shall have no end; not by any work of man, but “the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (Is. 9:7).


CHRISTMAS DAWN

(25 December 2016)

Isaiah 62:10–12; Ps. 98:1-9; Titus 3:4–7; Luke 2:1–14, 15–20

LSB 375: Come, Your Hearts and Voices Raising

Christ Jesus Reveals Himself in the Signs He Has Given to His Church

The Lord has not forsaken us. He has come to us and sought us out to save us (Is. 62:11–12), so that, “being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). In Christ Jesus, conceived and born of Mary, “the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared” (Titus 3:4). Now He is lifted up in the Gospel, “a signal over the peoples” (Is. 62:10), that He might call us to rejoice in His salvation. St. Luke emphasizes the signs by which the shepherds once found Him: in Bethlehem, the City of David, “wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). The same Lord Jesus reveals Himself to us in the sure and certain signs of His Gospel. His Church is a true Bethlehem (House of Bread); for the Son of David, “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), feeds us with His Body and His Blood from the manger of His altar, wrapped in under and with bread and wine. We ponder these mysteries as we receive the Word of God and live out our vocations, “glorifying and praising God” (Luke 2:19–20).


CHRISTMAS DAY

(25 December 2016)

Isaiah 52:7–10; Ps. 2:1-10; Hebrews 1:1–6, 7–12; John 1:1–14, 15–18

LSB 382: We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth

The Living and Life-Giving Word of God Dwells Among Us in the Flesh

The Lord sends out His ministers of the Gospel to make disciples “of all the nations,” so that “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” The Lord has “bared His holy arm” in the incarnate Christ (Is. 52:7, 10). The child in the manger, born of the Mary, is the very Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, “whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom He also created the world” (Heb. 1:2). As “all things were made through Him” (John 1:3), so are all things redeemed and made new in Him. In His body of flesh and blood, we behold “the radiance of the glory of God” (Heb. 1:3), “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He dwells among us in peace, that we might have life and light and salvation in Him. For by His Word of the Gospel, we are born again as the children of God, bearing His name and sharing His eternal life.


Courtesy: LCMS (except hymn video)


Looking Forward to Sunday Morning (3 Year Lectionary): Christmas — Dr. Carl Fickenscher — Issues Etc.

Dr. Carl Fickenscher

Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the readings and propers with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues Etc. (mp3, 56:10, 64.5 MB, 2016-Dec-12)


Lectionary Podcast - Christmas Eve - Series A - Luke 2:1-14 with Dr. David Scaer

Dr. David Scaer, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the Gospel lesson from the Greek text.


Lectionary Podcast - Christmas Day - Series A - John 1:1-14 with Dr. Charles Gieschen

Dr. Charles Gieschen, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the Gospel lesson from the Greek text.


Worldview Everlasting – The Nonarthrous Can Contain the Article (John 1:1-14)

Seriously. Worldview Everlasting takes on John 1:1 and following, delving into the depths of how to answer all your Arian friends when they tell you that Jesus isn't God.


Luke 2:1–20 (SBLGNT - Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the SBL Greek New Testament. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software. Holmes, M. W. (2011–2013). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature.)

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην·

2 (αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου·)

3 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν.

4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ,

5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.

6 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν,

7 καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.

8 Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν.

9 καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν·

10 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος· Μὴ φοβεῖσθε, ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ,

11 ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον σωτὴρ ὅς ἐστιν χριστὸς κύριος ἐν πόλει Δαυίδ·

12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον, εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον καὶ κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ.

13 καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων·

14 Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.

15 Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπʼ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι, οἱ ποιμένες ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους· Διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλέεμ καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς ὃ ὁ κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν.

16 καὶ ἦλθαν σπεύσαντες καὶ ἀνεῦραν τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσὴφ καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ·

17 ἰδόντες δὲ ἐγνώρισαν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου τούτου.

18 καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς,

19 ἡ δὲ Μαρία πάντα συνετήρει τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα συμβάλλουσα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς.

20 καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἶδον καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.


Literal Translation

1  And it happened in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the habitable world to be registered.

2  This registration first occurred under the governing of Syria by Cyrenius.

3  And all went to be registered, each to his own city.

4  And Joseph also went from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because of his being of the house and family of David,

5  to be registered with Mary, the one having been betrothed to him as wife, she being pregnant.

6  And it happened as they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to bear.

7  And she bore her son, the First-born. And she wrapped Him and laid Him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8  And shepherds were in the same country living in the fields and keeping guard over their flock by night.

9  And, behold, an angel of the Lord came on them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they feared with a great fear.

10  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For, behold, I proclaim good news to you, a great joy, which will be to all people,

11  because today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born to you in the city of David.

12  And this is a sign to you: You will find a babe having been wrapped, lying in the manger.

13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14  Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will among men.

15  And it happened as the angels departed from them into the heaven, even the men, the shepherds, said to one another, Indeed, let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this thing occurring, which the Lord made known to us.

16  And hurrying, they came and sought out both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.

17  And seeing, they publicly told about the word spoken to them about this Child.

18  And all those hearing marveled about the things spoken to them by the shepherds.

19  And Mary kept all these words, meditating in her heart.

20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things which they heard and saw, even as was spoken to them.