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Psalm 40:1-11

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear.  Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, "Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! (ESV)

All Things New

Tuesday of Christmas 2

5 January 2016

The mystery of the two natures in Christ is not some esoteric or philosophical teaching of the Christian Church, but rather a practical and gospel-bearing teaching.
 
That Christ is the God-Man, is essential to our salvation. The incarnation gives great comfort to weak and weary sinners like us. If God, the Right Hand of God, becomes flesh of Mary, we who are flesh will be elevated to the right hand of God. If God adopts human flesh of the Virgin Mary, we who are estranged from Him by sin now become sons of God by adoption. We who are ungodly (Rm 4:5) are now counted righteous by God. Here we see God exalting the humble by humbling the exalted One.
 
The eternal Son's incarnation shreds the division between heaven and earth, time and eternity, so that the division between God and man is entirely destroyed. There has been a rip in the universe making all things new. Things cannot just go on as they have in the past, under the old ways of doing things. All things are made new if God has become man. Human expectations that everything should go on as they have before are destroyed. 

 

Leo the Great
 
"The bodily nativity of the Son of God took nothing from and added nothing to His divine majesty because His unchangeable substance could be neither diminished nor increased. That 'the Word became flesh' does not mean that the nature of God was changed into flesh, but that the Word took the flesh into the unity of His person. In His person undoubtedly the whole man was received, with which within the Virgin's womb made fruitful by the Holy Spirit,...the Son of God was so inseparably united that He who was born without time of the Father's essence was Himself in time born of the Virgin's womb. For we could not otherwise be released from the chains of eternal death but by His becoming humble in our nature, who remained Almighty in His own.
 
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, being at birth true man, though He never ceased to be true God, made in Himself the beginning of a new creation. In the 'form' of His birth He started the spiritual life of mankind afresh to abolish the taint of our birth according to the flesh that there might be a possibility of regeneration without our sinful seed for those of whom it is said, 'Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God ' (Jn 1:13). What mind can grasp this mystery, what tongue can express this gracious act? Sinfulness returns to guiltlessness and the old nature becomes new. Strangers receive adoption and outsiders enter upon an inheritance. The ungodly begin to be righteous, the miserly benevolent, the incontinent chaste, the earthly heavenly. Where does this change come from, except by the right hand of the Most High? For the Son of God came to 'destroy the works of the devil'(1Jn 3:8) and has so united Himself with us and us with Him that the descent of God to man's estate became the exaltation of man to God's."

Leo the Great, Sermons on the Nativity
 
Prayer
Almighty and eternal God, who sent Your only begotten Son that our eyes might see and our ears hear the Word of Life, the everlasting Christ; grant us most joyfully to believe what the Scriptures openly declare; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
For Elise Roberts, who is suffering from acute liver failure, that the Lord Christ would grant her mercy and healing
 
For all parents as they struggle with the weaknesses and faults of their children, that they might have patience and a forgiving heart
 
For all those who are anxious about their work and employment, that they might be comforted by the promise that Christ will care for them better than He cares for the lilies of field, yet see how they are clothed

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Nativity c. 1515

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