Have a blessed Christmas!

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)

In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

The birth of Jesus seems so ordinary.  Read Luke 2:1ff.  He’s born of Mary, laid in a manger.  Shepherds came to visit.

But the Christ-child was God in the flesh—God in the flesh for you.  So ordinary—but so profound.

Such a God do you have, who comes to you in all of your sin and cleanses you, forgives you, saves you.  Though you neglect Him and take Him for granted, He has not neglected you.  He does not take you for granted.  He continues to call you to Himself, to remind you of His grace in your baptism, to speak His Word in Word and Sacrament, that you remain in Him.

This Christmas, know that God has not forsaken you.  He has not taken you for granted.  How do you know this?  God in the flesh—Jesus has come—Jesus has died—Jesus lives—for you.  Amen.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, forgive me for not believing You as You would have me believe.  Forgive me for taking You for granted.  Do not forsake me.  Do not neglect my needs as I have neglected Your Word. Have mercy on me!  Help me to believe in Jesus and to be a faithful servant of Your Word and Will.  Renew in Me a right spirit and grant me to rejoice in Your coming in flesh and blood, in Word (preaching & absolution) and in body and blood (The Lord’s Supper).  Amen.

Have a blessed Christmas, New Year and safe travels!

In Christ’s Service,

Rev. Thomas N. Reeder, Jr., Pastor

Apostles Lutheran Church–LCMS

6732 HWY 81 N — 608-348-9901

ALC: www.luther95.net/ALC-PWI

LSF: http://uwplatt.collegiatelink.net/Community?action=getOrgHome&orgID=14280

“One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ, as Christ says, John 11[:25], “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live”; and John 8[:36], “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed”; and Matt. 4[:4], “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”” (From Dr. Martin Luther’s, Freedom of Christian)

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