Everything Made New
Tuesday After Christmas
27 December 2016
Everything is made new. The Son of God has come into the world to rescue humanity from death. The Son of God is newest of the new. His coming undoes death by renewing humanity. His coming unsays the gainsaying of the satanic. He speaks into reality what the enemy questioned and what Adam and Eve doubted. Our first parents fell through doubt of the Word and through believing the unsaying of the enemy. The Word made flesh unsays the unsaying.
 
The Word made flesh speaks clearly what the enemy questioned. The Word made flesh stops his ears to temptation. The Word made flesh now replants fair Eden's garden in the church of His making. Through His incarnation we have become the oaks of His planting, spoken into being by His grace.
 
Our flesh has become new. The seed of death doubted into us by the enemy has now been spoken out of us by the birth of the Son of Mary. He who only squalled at birth spoke life to the whole universe. He who said only a few words on the cross spoke most by those words. So with speaking the Son of God rescued us, His creation, from the fall into sin. In Him everything is made new.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

John of Damascus
 
"God earnestly strove to emancipate man from the wide-spread and enslaving bonds of sin, which had made life such a mass of iniquity, and to effect man's return to a life of happiness. For it was sin that brought death like a wild and savage beast into the world to the ruin of human life. But it was fitting that the Redeemer be without sin, and not made liable through sin to death. And further, that His nature should be strengthened and renewed, and trained by labor and taught the way of virtue which leads away from corruption to the life eternal and, in the end, is revealed the mighty ocean of love to man that is about Him.
                       
"For the very Creator and Lord Himself undertakes a struggle on behalf of the work of His own hands, and learns by toil to become Master. And since the enemy snares man by the hope of Godhead, he himself is snared in turn by the screen of flesh, and so are shown at once the goodness and wisdom, the justice and might of God. God's goodness is revealed in that He did not disregard the frailty of His own handiwork, but was moved with compassion for him in his fall, and stretched forth His hand to him: and His justice in that when man was overcome He did not make another victorious over the tyrant, nor did He snatch man by might from death, but in His goodness and justice He made him, who had become through his sins the slave of death, himself once more conqueror and rescued like by like, most difficult though it seemed. His wisdom is seen in His devising the most fitting solution of the difficulty . For by the good pleasure of our God and Father, the Only-begotten Son and Word of God and God, who is in the bosom of the God and Father, of like essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, who was before the ages, who is without beginning and was in the beginning, who is in the presence of his God and Father, and is God and made in the form of God , bent the heavens and descended to earth: that is to say, He humbled without humiliation His lofty station which yet could not be humbled, and condescends to His servants, with a condescension ineffable and incomprehensible (for that is what the descent signifies).
 
"Perfect God becomes perfect man, and brings to perfection the newest of all new things, the only new thing under the Sun, through which the boundless might of God is manifested. For what greater thing is there, than that God should become Man? And the Word became flesh without being changed, of the Holy Spirit, and Mary the holy and ever-virgin one, the mother of God. And He acts as mediator between God and man, He the only lover of man conceived in the Virgin's chaste womb without will or desire, or any connection with man or pleasurable generation, but through the Holy Spirit and He the first offspring of Adam. And He becomes obedient to the Father who is like unto us, and finds a remedy for our disobedience in what He had assumed from us, and became a pattern of obedience to us without which pattern it is not possible to obtain salvation ."

John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith, 3.2
Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!  (ESV)
Prayer
Grant, almighty God, that the birth of Your Only-begotten Son in human flesh may set us free, who through sin are held in bondage; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
 
For Jack and Tasha Ogden, who were joined in holy marriage last week, that they might be kept in the vows and promises that they made in the presence of God and His holy people
 
For families who do not know the Light of Christ, that the darkness might be dispelled through the holy gospel delivered in season and out of season
 
For those struggling with unemployment or financial reverses, that they would find full employment and useful labor
Art: CORREGGIO,  Holy Night ( 1528-1530)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
©  Scott Murray 2016