23 December 2008

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our king and our lord, the anointed for the nations and their / Savior:*
Come and save us, O / Lord our God.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel' (which means, God with us)." (Matthew 1:21-23)

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

The great mystery we celebrate on Christmas is that Jesus is truly “God with us.” Our King and Savior became just like us, taking on our humanity. He identified Himself with us and carried our curse and punishment of sin and death. He also restores us to His image, healing our fallen humanity and giving us new life with the one, true, saving, loving God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When He went to the cross to shed His very real blood, which He had received when He was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary, He won forgiveness for our sins and showed us God's unfathomable love. Hanging on the cross, rising from the grave, and ascending to God's right hand, our Lord Jesus showed us that He is "God is with us." He still shows us that He is "God with us" in our Baptism, in the words of Holy Absolution, and in His Holy Supper. Forgiveness from His words of Scripture and preaching instructs and enlightens us. Salvation from His holy Supper comforts and strengthens us. God is with us. Christ has come and still comes to save, forgive, and give us life with Him for all eternity.

Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!
(LSB 537:1)

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