Kruiz edited
Deeply Practical Intricacies
Wednesday in Lent 2
15 March 2017
God becomes man not to tease us with the imponderables of the incarnation, "the Christ is enthroned in the womb of the mother whom He created," but that He might save the world through His assumed flesh. God is not dreaming up what we consider philosophical train wrecks, like "God died," to test our faith with the impossible. He permits death to overtake Him that He might pull us out of the wreckage of our sin. There is always a deeply practical reason for the intricacies of our holy faith.
When my daughters were in high school they always worked hard on the music they played for state competition. They would practice for a competition for some months. They played some difficult music by Gabriel Faure and Joseph Haydn. The Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E-flat was especially tough to play because there are great leaps over octaves. The complexity of the music and the enormous effort required to play it well might lead us to conclude that Haydn was just torturing brass players and perhaps sometimes brass players feel that way. However, after we actually hear the piece performed we see that Haydn intended to write an excitingly beautiful piece of music. Its intricacy heightens the pleasure of the hearer. Our experience of the music informs about the meaning of its intricacy.
So it is for our heavenly Father; He gives us the intricate mysteries of the faith for saving us in Christ. The beauty of the communication of attributes is in our experience of salvation in the Christ, the Son of God who dies and the Son of man who has ascended to the right hand of God to lead captivity captive. Our practical experience of salvation from sin and death through such a precious treasure informs about why there is a communication of attributes in the person of Christ.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
"Thus the words of this text (Jn 3:14-16) indicate that God gave His Son for us and that the Son of man died for us. There are not two Jesuses, the one coming from the Father and the other born of Mary. No, there is only one Jesus. Therefore the ancient fathers said that the attributes of both natures are ascribed and applied to the whole person of Christ 'in the concrete,' creating a 'communication of properties,' a union in which the attributes of the one nature are imparted to the other. Each nature, of course, has its own peculiar character. For instance, it is peculiar to the human nature of Christ to be born of the Virgin Mary. The divine nature has different attributes. But since the person of Christ cannot be divided, there is a communion, which enables one to say: 'The infant Christ, who lies in the cradle and is suckled by the virgin Mary, created heaven and earth.' Also: 'The Son of God who is with the Father from eternity nurses at His mother's breasts, is crucified, and dies.' For the communion of the natures also effects a communication of properties. The ancient fathers diligently taught this and wrote about it.
"But now we have to make the practical application and learn why the person who is God and man came into the world. The Lord Christ teaches us this too when He says that any believer in Him shall be delivered from eternal death and be assured of eternal life. It was not an angel, a principality, or any of the world's mighty who became incarnate and died for us. No, both the angelic and the human nature would have been too weak. It was the divine nature that assumed humanity. It was Christ who adopted our flesh and blood that we might be saved through Him.
"Now we see how gloriously the evangelist John speaks of Christ and of the sublime doctrine of our Christian faith: that Christ is both God and man. This is what John stresses in his Gospel."

Martin Luther, Sermons on John's Gospel, 3.16
Psalm 99

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he! The King in his might loves justice.You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the LORD, and he answered them. In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; they kept his testimonies and the statute that he gave them. O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy! (ESV)
Almighty God, You gave Your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Himself. Grant that we, Your adopted children by grace, might daily be renewed by Your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
For Sylvia Kehrer, that she would recover fully under God's gracious care
For all homeless persons, that their heavenly Father might keep them safe
For all those who lament their sin, weakness, and hypocrisy, that they would be strengthened by the Word and believe faithfully that Christ's perfect righteousness is their own
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Isenheim Altarpiece (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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