Going Deeper 12.23.2020

The first reading for the First Sunday of Christmas... First Reading: Isaiah 61:10 - 62:3

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Your salvation has come!  There is no need to wait for it.  You can rejoice and exult in the Lord with your whole being.  With the coming of Jesus-- whose very name means "one who saves"-- you have been robed in garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness.  This was the mission of Jesus, born and raised in poor and humble places, whose love and compassion shown forth in miraculous ways, whose actions and words revealed Him as the long-awaited Messiah, and whose suffering, death, and resurrection completed God's plan of redemption.

In this broken and dark world, it is all too easy to become disoriented, and to lose sight of the reality that our salvation into eternal life has already begun.  But all of this-- pain, disease, conflict, and war-- is temporary and serves as an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for grace by serving as beacons of God's light to shine through us, calling others to receive the salvation God desires to grant them.  As we seek the become increasing immersed in the transforming love of God, we see through the darkness live with an enduring hope and peace.

Receive the gift of Christmas.  Be the gift of Christmas.

With You in His Grace,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"