Prince of Peace
December 2017

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)


Dear Friends in Christ,

This month we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God's Son, whose name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

With the coming of Christ, a light shines in the midst of spiritual darkness.  In Christ, God brings joy , the kind of joy that celebrates the harvest and celebrates the victory over our enemies. 

We have reason to celebrate, for God has struck the oppressor through the Child who is born.  His birth is a miracle for He is at the same time fully God equal to the Father, and fully man as we are.  He knows what is right and carries out His plans with faithfulness.  His compassion is far above our understanding.  He comes to bring to restore peace between God and men.  In his own flesh the enmity that has separated God and man since the fall into sin has been abolished forever.

Come and worship the Prince of Peace

Pastor James Kroonblawd

In the kingdom of Christ there is grace, comfort, forgiveness of sins, joy, peace. He does not deal with the transgressor in sternness, but as a father. The forgiveness of sins is justification, and peace follows justification. This peace is not only peace of mind but also plenty and soundness of mind and good health of the body. Such is the reign of Christ: It is extended by killing; it is fertilized by the blood of the believers; and the more distress there is, the more peace grows in the heart.  --   Martin Luther

Luther wrote: "I know of no God but this One in the manger. ..."

If you will have joy, bend yourself down to this place. There you will find that boy given for you who is your Creator, lying in a manger. I will stay with that boy as He sucks, is washed, and dies. There is no joy but in this boy. Take Him away and you face the Majesty which terrifies. I know of no God but this One in the manger. Do not let yourself be turned away from this humanity. What wonderful words (Col. 2:9)! He is not only a man and a servant, but that person lying in the manger is both man and God essentially, not separated one from the other, but as born of a virgin. If you separate them, the joy is gone. O You boy, lying in the manger, You are truly the God who has created me, and You will not be wrathful with me because You come to me in this loving way-a more loving way cannot be imagined.
--Luther's Christmas Sermon, 1527

The Comfort of the Incarnation
by Rev. John T. Pless in Lutheran Witness
Prince Joachim of Anhalt was 26 years old when Christmas came in 1535. For months he had battled deep melancholy and depression. Luther had spent time with the prince, praying for him and speaking the Lord's words of consolation and peace into his ears a year earlier, in the summer of 1534. Yet Joachim's bouts with depression persisted.
On Dec. 25, 1535, Luther writes a tender but powerful letter to Joachim that resounds with the pure Gospel for those who are downcast and disillusioned in this season. "Our dear Lord Christ comfort Your Grace with His incarnation. He became incarnate to comfort and show His good will to all men, as the dear angels sing today, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men'"

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
LSB 357, vs. 7
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Lutheran Hour Bible study: Peace in His Time

Peace. We want it. We fight for it. We even die for it. But can we ever achieve it? This Men's NetWork Bible study took to the streets to ask the question, is peace possible? The responses, as you will see, range from the philosophic and cynical to the pessimistic and hopeful.

A Christmas Sermon on Peace
Erik Herman
"And He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore."
 -- Isaiah 2:4
Remarkable words: in Isaiah's day, to be sure, when the nations around Judah-were drawing their swords and pounding their spears against their shields, making ready to war against them.  Is the prophet completely out of touch with reality?  Does he live in the world of children's dreams?  Could one even imagine such a thing, a world without the sword-a world where an instrument of death and violence has been transformed into a device that brings forth sustenance and life.  Could we imagine such a thing?
One author, Mary Lou von Rossum, reflected on the strain that such a vision places on our imaginations-even the imaginations of her children: 
She writes, "I read Isaiah to them and they listened motionless with saucer eyes until one tiny face, quite wonder-wide, broke out in speech, 'What is a ploughshare?' 'What is a pruning hook?' And so I told them of the shining blades that cut the earth to make it pliant so the seed may grow and bring forth fruit, and of the slender pole that moves among the branches stripping them of what they have no need, that they may flourish for God and for us. And then I thought, perchance, someday, in some fair land a child would ask, 'What is a sword?' 'What is a spear?'"  Read entire sermon

'You Are Not Alone' Prayer Book
You Are Not Alone: A Prayer Book for Victims of Domestic Violence, is the newest resource from the LCMS Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Task Force. This devotional prayer book will help victims give voice to their heavenly Father in the midst of heartache and despair.

What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking, which recently became the world's third-largest criminal enterprise, is a form of modern-day slavery. The United Nations estimates that over 20 million people are missing due to human trafficking.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that between 14,000 and 17,000 people are trafficked every year into the United States.  Human traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to lure vulnerable people into slavery.  Despite myths in popular culture, traffickers are often people who know the victim: a family member, close friend or significant other.  By exploiting vulnerability, human trafficking has created an estimated $32 billion global profit that continues to grow larger every day.
Emergency hotline & government resources

National Human Trafficking Hotline   888-373-7888

Polaris BeFree Textline: Text "BeFree" (233733)


Prayer for Peace
O Prince of Peace, and Desire of the nations, in you all things have been reconciled in heaven and on earth. Through the clay of your incarnation you have fashioned a new humanity. Breathe your Spirit into all people and quicken in us the bond of peace that comes in knowing you. Amen  


Do you have a suggested topic for an upcoming TLO Disciple?  Send an email to Pastor Kroonblawd by clicking here.


TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at  651-454-7235 or the  Church Office via email.
Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month. Click here to subscribe to TLO Together .  This publication is also mailed upon request.
Soli Deo gloria

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