Good morning and a blessed Thursday morning to you.
Christmas Eve, of course, is very close now. And what a joy it is to gather and to worship our Savior & King, the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to commend to you two beautiful candlelight services that have been planned at 3:00 and 5:00 pm. And then a beautiful service on Christmas day at 10 a.m. This is a great opportunity to reach out to someone who doesn't have a church home. I encourage you to make use of this invitational video https://youtu.be/hY2GFvXjMOQ as a very easy and non-threatening way to extend an invitation to someone who doesn't have a church home.
As I was thinking about Christmas, my mind started to wander to thinking about trees. I imagine in many of your homes or apartments, that many of you have a Christmas tree there. Did you know that the early Lutheran Church maintained that Luther was the one that invented, so to speak, the Christmas Tree. The story goes that it was a cold evening when he was walking along the way. Along the path were trees that had ice in them. The light from the moon and the stars was shining through those trees with the ice on the branches and Luther said that it reminded him of the glory of the Lord. It reminded him of Luke 2:8-9
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luther, reminded of Luke the second chapter as he walked… reminded of the glory of the Lord as he saw that moonlight and the starlight shining through the ice on the branches. He cut down a tree and brought the tree home. He put the tree inside of the house, decorating it with fruit and nuts and candles and light.
The Christmas tree reminds us of God's incredible love for us, in that He sent us the Lord Jesus Christ; the second member of the Trinity… truly God, and truly man…. born to die for us… born to rise for us. We give gifts to one another this time of year. And it's just a small reminder of the greatest gift that we have been given; the Lord Jesus Christ. For through the cross we are forgiven. We know the sacrifice has been accepted, because the tomb is empty. And we can live in that joy, knowing that for the Christian, today is one more day in all of eternity. What a great, great message. What a great joy that we have.
And so…Christmas Eve at 3:00 and 5:00. Christmas day at 10:00. Invite someone, will you? Invite somebody that doesn't have a church home, that they may hear this joyous news. And as we gather for worship, there will also be a tree.
Let’s pray. Gracious Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for this time in your Word. We give you thanks for this time of year. We are reminded so concretely of your love for us in the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are reminded of why he came to redeem us. We give you praise and glory and honor.
And so Father, bless we pray the worship that lies ahead. May you be glorified. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God's blessings to you. Encourage someone!