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From the Pastor: December 2021

by Mark Harris on December 01, 2021

Savior of the Nations Come

In this final month of the year, God’s people enter into the festive seasons of Advent and Christmas! One thing that may be returning into your plans for the upcoming holiday season is traveling to a faraway place to visit friends and family… or having them travel to spend time here with you. That time together is a precious gift from the Lord! It has me thinking also about travel in general… and all the far-flung places that would be enjoyable to visit one day. We live in a HUGE world! There are far more nations than I can successfully name… much less travel to see with my own eyes in my lifetime. How astounding it is to proclaim that Jesus came into this world to save every person of every nation in every age! This is the marvelous title of our Lord that we pray aloud when we sing the familiar Advent hymn on LSB page 332 (verse 1).

Savior of the nations, come, Virgin’s Son, make here Your home!
Marvel now, O heav’n and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth.

This joyful proclamation of who Jesus has come to save echoes from the prayer spoken by Simeon in Luke 2:29-32 (NIV). When that man was blessed to see the Christ-child with his own eyes and hold him close in his arms, his inspired words signaled the fulfilment of God’s promise given to Abraham long, long before.

“...My eyes have seen Your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

Though we ourselves will not literally take up the infant Jesus into our arms as Simeon once did, we do behold Him in meaningful ways. We do this through the hearing of His Word and by taking His true body into our hands and mouths when we receive the Holy Supper that Christ would go on to institute for us. And that meal itself would be given before Jesus proceeded to bring about the salvation of all peoples who would be brought to faith in Him. By His lowly manger, rugged cross, and empty tomb The Savior of the Nations would accomplish the divine plan prepared for Him to fulfill (and for us to receive!) since the foundation of the world! Now, Jesus rules in heaven above… awaiting the day when He will come again in glory. His arrival will bring Joy to the World (LSB 387) and prove to the eyes of all the nations (verse 4) once and for all the truth of who He is and what He has done!

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders of His love.

As we enter into this wonderful season, join in praying expectantly for Christ’s return. And be sure to look for Him where He has promised to be found—in His gifts of Word and Sacraments. These treasures are how the Savior of the Nations delights to deliver His salvation to each of His people! Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!

—Pastor Mark Harris

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles

by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying,

‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’” (Galatians 3:8)

 

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