Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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December 24 – Wonders Of His Love

“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And he knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name JESUS.”  Matt. 1:24,25

Devotional Thought For The Day

This “dream” in which the angel of the Lord brought Joseph up to speed on the implementation of God’s great plan of salvation in sending His Son into human flesh to redeem us from all sin and guilt, took place while Joseph was contemplating the reality and consequences of Mary’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy. [Matt. 1:19,20]  We gain insight into the character of Joseph in all of this, not only that he was “a just man, and not willing to make her a public example” [Matt. 1:19], but also that he was wearied and saddened enough by all of this that he was susceptible to dozing off.  He had to be awakened after this “dream.” Then he did the right thing, what the Lord asked of Him, respecting God’s Word that “a virgin shall bring forth a son” even though this impacted his rights as a husband. He was privileged and faithful to officially give Jesus His Name, which means “the LORD saves,” believing what must have been mysterious to him at the time, that somehow this child would “save His people from their sins.” [Matt. 1:21,23]

We have less challenging circumstances in embracing the glorious and gracious gift of God, His Son Who has taken our sin and guilt upon Himself, suffered God’s just punishment upon all human sin in His suffering and death on the cross, and provided us with redemption, salvation, and eternal life in the joyous bliss of God’s glorious heavenly kingdom.  None of this involves deeply personal pain and discomfort, or social stigma and shame.  We do not have to learn of these things through a dream – they are all plainly spelled out for us in God’s own Word, Holy Scripture, the Bible.  They are not “promises” that we hope will come about, but historical facts and realities, acknowledged now for nearly 2,000 years.  It is upon these marvelous realities that Christ has built His church – as He promised. So we know with certainty that He has “saved” us from our sins, that we have peace with God, that we are accounted righteous in His sight, that we shall not come into condemnation but have passed from death to life, that we have eternal life.  There is nothing for us to fear in the future, not even death!

Perhaps we too become “sleepy” contemplating all of this.  Almost certainly some of us will be a bit dozy later this evening – after a day of work, some family gatherings, some travel, much shopping and wrapping and preparing, and the children’s Christmas Eve service – when the pastor begins his sermon in the “Candlelight” Christmas Eve service.  The pastor may also be a bit sleepy by this time, and we’ll all be tired when our heads finally hit the pillow.  Hopefully it will be a joyous and fulfilled tiredness, filled with the wonders of God’s love for us, the gift of our dear Savior, and the sure and certain hope and optimism of God’s plan for us, and for His world.  May the wonder of His Name capture our hearts and minds, that whether sleeping or awake we are filled with the joy of knowing Jesus, our dear Savior, the Lord and King of the universe, Who continues to “uphold the universe by His Word of power” [Heb. 1:3], and Who continues to uphold us with His Word of gracious love!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, wondrous and glorious Lord, our dear Savior and Master, fill us with joy and wonderment at the rich blessings that You have brought to us to this very day, blessings which become more and more glorious as time goes by, and especially more glorious when we leave this vale of tears for Your glorious heavenly kingdom.  Grant us Your peace throughout our lives, here in this age, and hereafter in heaven.  Amen.