Sons In the Son
Thursday of Christmas 1
5 January 2017
There is no loving God apart from loving the Son of God, Jesus Christ. God cannot be our Father if He is not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father has adopted us in His own Son who is by very nature God. We, though not natural sons, receive the full rights of sons through faith in the Son. We whom God incorporated into the Son by baptism also receive in that act God's adoption into His family. We, who were aliens to God's family and enemies of God, were separated from the Promised Land in which there is fellowship with God by the wall of law with its filthy accusations against us scrawled across it.
God Himself breaches that wall of separation through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. God from His side makes the decisive move and makes a community of people after His own heart, bulldozing the barrier between us and Him. He has given them the heart of his Only-begotten Son, putting it on display upon the cross of Calvary. Here we know the depth of the love of God that while we remained enemies of God Christ died for us. There is therefore no doubt about God's love for us in His Son; and apart from that Son there is nothing but doubt.
For many years, the parable in Luke 15 has been called "The Prodigal Son." The point of the parable is not the son's prodigality (wastefulness), but his lost-ness. If there is prodigality in the Bible, it is on God's part. God is the great prodigal. He is so in love with us that He prepares a perfect salvation in His Son, and then goes to extraordinary lengths to woo us into this extraordinary love. He wastefully shares the blood of His Son spreading it where it is often despised and abused. Yet, still with great prodigality He rushes out to meet us, to make us His sons in His Son.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Hilary of Poitiers
"They are blindly ignorant who separate the divine name from the divine nature; ignorant, and content to be ignorant. But let them listen to the reproof that the Son inflicts upon unbelievers for their want of this knowledge, when the Jews said that God was their Father: 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me' (Jn 8:42). The Son of God has here no word of blame for the devout confidence of those who combine the confession that He is true God, the Son of God, with their own claim to be God's sons. What He is blaming is the insolence of the Jews in daring to claim God as their Father, when meanwhile they did not love Him, the Son: 'If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God.' All, who have God for their Father through faith, have Him for Father through that same faith whereby we confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
"But to confess that He is the Son in a sense that covers the whole company of saints; to say, in effect, that He is one of the sons of God; what faith is there in that? Are not all the rest, feeble created beings though they be, in that sense sons? In what does the eminence of a faith, which has confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, consist, if He, as one of a multitude of sons, has the name only, and not the nature, of the Son? This unbelief has no love for Christ; it is a mockery of the faith for these perverters of the truth to claim God as their Father. If He were their Father, they would love Christ because He had gone forth from God.
"Now I must enquire the meaning of this going forth from God. His going forth is obviously different from His coming, for the two are mentioned side by side in this passage, 'I came from God and I am here.' In order to elucidate the separate meanings of 'I came from God and I am here,' He immediately adds, 'I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.' He tells us that He is not the source of His own existence in the words, 'I came not of my own accord.' In them He tells us that He has proceeded forth a second time from God [in the incarnation], and has been sent by Him. But when He tells us that they who call God their Father must love Himself because He has gone forth from God, He makes His birth the reason for their love. 'Came from' carries back our thoughts to the incorporeal birth, for it is by love of Christ, who was born from Him, that we must gain the right of devoutly claiming God for our Father. For when the Son says, 'Whoever hates me hates my Father also' (Jn 15:23), this 'my' is the assertion of a relation to the Father which is shared by none. On the other hand, He condemns the man who claims God as his Father, and loves not the Son, as using a wrongful liberty with the Father's name; since he who hates the Son must hate the Father also, and none can be devoted to the Father save those who love the Son.
"For the one and only reason that He gives for loving the Son is His origin from the Father. The Son, therefore, is from the Father, not by His Advent, but by His begotten-ness; and love for the Father is only possible to those who believe that the Son is from Him."

Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 6.30
John 8:34-42

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.  I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."  
They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did,  but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.  You are doing what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father- even God."  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. (ESV)
O Lord Christ, keep us in Your prodigal love for us. By Your Holy Spirit give us a sense of wonder at the incarnation in which You, the Son of God, became Man for us, that we might become the sons of God in You. Amen.
For Ellen Brda, that God would continue to be gracious to her and grant her healing
For Natalie Fraker, that she would be comforted by knowing that she is surrounded by the holy angels
For all doctors, nurses, and health professionals that they would faithfully provide care for those who are ill and suffering using all the healing arts that God has given to us
Art: CORREGGIO, Holy Night (1528-1530)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2016
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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