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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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything New

Christmas Eve

24 December 2015

Everything is made new. The Son of God has come into the world to rescue humanity from death. The Son of God is newest of the new. His coming undoes death by renewing humanity. His coming unsays the gainsaying of the satanic. He speaks into reality what the enemy questioned and what Adam and Eve doubted. Our first parents fell through doubt of the Word and through believing the unsaying of the enemy. The Word made flesh unsays the unsaying.
 
The Word made flesh speaks clearly what the enemy questioned. The Word made flesh stops his ears to temptation. The Word made flesh now replants fair Eden's garden in the church of His making. Through His incarnation we have become the oaks of His planting, spoken into being by His grace.
 
Our flesh has become new. The seed of death doubted into us by the enemy has now been spoken out of us by the birth of the Son of Mary. He who only squalled at birth spoke life to the whole universe. He who said only a few words on the cross spoke most by those words. So with speaking the Son of God rescued us, His creation, from the fall into sin. In Him everything is made new.

 

John of Damascus
 
"God earnestly strove to emancipate man from the wide-spread and enslaving bonds of sin, which had made life such a mass of iniquity, and to effect man's return to a life of happiness. For it was sin that brought death like a wild and savage beast into the world to the ruin of human life. But it was fitting that the Redeemer be without sin, and not made liable through sin to death. And further, that His nature should be strengthened and renewed, and trained by labor and taught the way of virtue which leads away from corruption to the life eternal and, in the end, is revealed the mighty ocean of love to man that is about Him.
                       
"For the very Creator and Lord Himself undertakes a struggle on behalf of the work of His own hands, and learns by toil to become Master. And since the enemy snares man by the hope of Godhead, he himself is snared in turn by the screen of flesh, and so are shown at once the goodness and wisdom, the justice and might of God. God's goodness is revealed in that He did not disregard the frailty of His own handiwork, but was moved with compassion for him in his fall, and stretched forth His hand to him: and His justice in that when man was overcome He did not make another victorious over the tyrant, nor did He snatch man by might from death, but in His goodness and justice He made him, who had become through his sins the slave of death, himself once more conqueror and rescued like by like, most difficult though it seemed. His wisdom is seen in His devising the most fitting solution of the difficulty. For by the good pleasure of our God and Father, the Only-begotten Son and Word of God and God, who is in the bosom of the God and Father, of like essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, who was before the ages, Who is without beginning and was in the beginning, Who is in the presence of his God and Father, and is God and made in the form of God, bent the heavens and descended to earth: that is to say, He humbled without humiliation His lofty station which yet could not be humbled, and condescends to His servants, with a condescension ineffable and incomprehensible (for that is what the descent signifies).
 
"Perfect God becomes perfect man, and brings to perfection the newest of all new things, the only new thing under the Sun, through which the boundless might of God is manifested. For what greater thing is there, than that God should become Man? And the Word became flesh without being changed, of the Holy Spirit, and Mary the holy and ever-virgin one, the mother of God. And He acts as mediator between God and man, He the only lover of man conceived in the Virgin's chaste womb without will or desire, or any connection with man or pleasurable generation, but through the Holy Spirit and He the first offspring of Adam. And He becomes obedient to the Father who is like unto us, and finds a remedy for our disobedience in what He had assumed from us, and became a pattern of obedience to us without which pattern it is not possible to obtain salvation."

John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith, 3.2
 
Prayer
Grant, almighty God, that the birth of Your Only-begotten Son in human flesh may set us free, who through sin are held in bondage; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
 
For those who have had family members suffer health reverses this year, that they would be comforted by the message of our flesh made new in Christ
 
For Leslie Doiron Roch, who will be undergoing chemotherapy tomorrow, that she would be given the same joy that the angels delivered to the shepherds
 
For families who do not know the Light of Christ, that the darkness might be dispelled through the holy gospel delivered in season and out of season
 
For those struggling with unemployment or financial reverses, that they would find full employment and useful labor

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Nativity c. 1515

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