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Read Romans 15:8-13.
Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's
truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the
patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles may glorify God
for His mercy ... Romans 15:8B-9A

I have to admit, once the lights were on the tree, I was
satisfied. I didn't really care whether any ornaments went
on or not. But that wasn't the case with Mom. I never could
understand why she took each ornament in hand, carefully
inspected it, and smiled as she chose its precise place on
the tree. To me she was wasting time -- just get them up
there so we can put the icicles on!

Now that I have a few years behind me, I understand Mom
a whole lot more. Now I find myself looking carefully at our
ornament collection. "This was the ornament we got when
we were first dating!" "We were newlyweds when we bought
this." "This was Jacob's first Christmas!" "This was our first
house." And, like Mom, a smile spreads across my face as
I recite each ornament's history.

The promises God made about Jesus in the Old Testament
are like those ornaments. Each one has a beauty and
significance that grows deeper every year. Consider one
from Isaiah: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a
son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which means 'God
with us')" (Isaiah 7:14b). Or Micah's famous, "But you, O
Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the
clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me one who
is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days" (Micah 5:2). My favorite is another
from Isaiah, "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" (Isaiah 9:6).

Each prophecy is like a dearly loved ornament. We get it
out, examine it carefully, place it into the timeline of
Christ's life, and rejoice in what it shows us about our

* He went around serving people through His words and
mighty deeds.
* He took our sin and guilt upon Himself and suffered
and died in our place.
* He perfectly satisfied God's wrath for our sins.
* He rose in glory on the third day.
* He ascended into heaven and took His place at the
Father's right hand.
* On the Last Day He will return to judge both the living
and the dead.

Like precious ornaments they hang on the tree of our faith
and strengthen our confidence and trust in Christ Jesus
who is our Savior and our Guide through this life.


Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for fulfilling all the promises
given to Your Old Testament people, our ancient brothers
and sisters in the faith. Give Your children great joy, hope,
and confidence in Your life so that we may glorify Your
Name and share Your salvation with all people. Amen

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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