Many of us missed hearing the gospel yesterday due to weather, so I share with you the heart of the joy of it from a sermon Martin Luther preached in 1534:
"Whose heart or tongue will fathom the sweet consolation in these words when it believes and feels (as a Christian ought) that God was speaking the words to him/her: 'This is My beloved Son, I whom I am well pleased'? This is just as if he were to say to us: 'Here I give you all my grace and love and kindness which I have in my heart and powers. In order that you may not doubt, nor be able to, I hereby give you not Moses or a prophet, nor an angel or Saint, nor a treasure of gold and silver, nor other great riches of earth or heaven, but my own dear Son. That is, I give you my own heart and the true eternal spring and source of all grace and good, whom no angel nor created thing in heaven and earth can fathom or comprehend. He is to be the sign and pledge of my grace and love against your sin and terror. Since he is by birth and right the only Heir and Lord of all creation, so in Him you are My children and heirs and have all he has and possesses.' In addition to giving us the right and inheritance which he has by nature, He also, by His suffering and death as our Priest and Bishop, merited and gained for us the state of being forever his elected children and fellow heirs of all His goods. Behold, what more should he do or give, and what could a man's heart desire or imagine higher and better? Yet he does this without any of our merit or cooperation, before any man has asked for it or thought of it, so that we have nothing anywhere to boast of here, but must leave it as pure grace. We are unable to do anything for it, except to thank and praise Him for this indescribable grace. Neither does he desire anything else."
Anglican Prayer Book: "O God, who didst wonderfully create, and yet more wonderfully restore, the dignity of human nature' Grant that we may share the divine life of Him who humbled Himself to share our humanity." Amen