As a family united in faith by the Holy Spirit, we exist to worship and praise the Triune God, to be nurtured through His Word and Sacraments, and to share His love in Christ with others.
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs." Psalm 100:1, 2
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We should always know for certain, without a doubt, that Jesus loves us. We just celebrated Jesus’ coming into this world in a very humble way to save sinners like us. We just celebrated Epiphany (Jan. 6th) and continue to celebrate Jesus’ showing Himself to be the Savior of all people including Gentiles (non-Jews) like us. And very soon we will be reminded again of the agony and suffering and death which Jesus endured (Ash Wednesday is already February 10th), all because He loves us. In this month of “love” (celebrating Valentine’s Day), let’s remember Jesus’ real love for each of us.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.”
Jesus shows His love for us. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (Jn.15:9). “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (Jn.13:1). “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn.15:13). “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (2Co.5:14). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Eph.5:2). “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1Jn.3:16).
"Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever." Psalm 111:1-3
Luke tells us that after the shepherds had come to Bethlehem to see the newborn Savior: "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." She replayed the events of that night again and again. She wanted to explore everything God had given her in the birth of the Christ-child.
She didn't want to miss anything.
The more we study the Christmas story - the more we hear it and replay it in our memories - the more we stand in awe of this glorious and majestic gift from God. There, in the manger was true God and true man. There, in the manger was God's greatness on display. This was a holy child, of one being with the Father! That's deep! This little Baby was carrying out God's plan to save mankind from hell! This little baby came to be our substitute under God's Law and judgment.
The more we ponder the Baby in the manger, the more we will stand in awe as the beautiful Christmas story melts our cold hearts and fills us with delight. Nothing else in all the world is this good!