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And at the end of eight days ... He was called Jesus
 ... (Luke 2:21).
New Year's Eve was exciting when I was a kid. We
say goodbye to the old and ring in the new. With each
New Year came all kinds of exciting opportunities,
hopes and dreams.
Jesus has now reached the age of eight days and
something new is about to happen. Every Israelite boy
who reached the age of eight days was required to be
circumcised and receive his name. As we saw earlier
in the naming of Zechariah and Elizabeth's son John,
names were important to the people of Israel.
Mary and Joseph have already been told the Name that
God has given for His Son. So in obedience they gave
Mary's Child the Name of Jesus. It was a common
name at the time. It means "The Lord is salvation" or "
The Lord saves." In the Old Testament the names
Joshua and Hosea are variants of the name Jesus.
Every other Israelite boy carrying this name in effect
reminded people to turn their attention to God, who is
their salvation.
In the case of Mary's Son it was completely different,
however. In His case the Name pointed to Himself as
Lord -- the One who is now present to save His people
from their sins. Many years from now His enemies will
hurl His Name back at Him in mockery, as He hangs
on the cross: "He saved others; He cannot save
Himself. He trusts in God, let God deliver Him now, if
He desires Him. For He said, 'I am the Son of God'"
(Matthew 27:42-43).
But there on the cross Jesus was fulfilling His Name --
the Lord saving His people from death and hell by
suffering for their sins.
Lord Jesus, You truly are the Lord who saves His
people. Receive our thanks for being the Savior Your
name said You would be. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

15:09 Posted in Blog, RELIGION | Permalink | Comments (0)



(The shepherds said) "Let us go over to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has happened, which the
Lord has made known to us" (Luke 2:15b).
Read Luke 2:15-20.
This is about the time we started running dangerously
low on Christmas cookies. I always hated getting to
the bottom of the "animal cookies." I'm not sure why
we called them that, since we used all kinds of different
shapes: trees, bells, etc. But I would definitely leave all
the others behind in my search for that one last animal
The shepherds had the same feeling about the Christ
Child. After the angel army returns to heaven, the
shepherds immediately talk it over and decide to leave
their flocks behind in search of the Christ Child.
They go to Bethlehem and search until they find Him
wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger -- just
as the angel had said. How incredible was it to look down
into the face of the mighty Son of God? The shepherds
share the angel's words with Mary and Joseph and every
person they meet. All who hear their words are amazed,
but Mary stores up their words and ponders them deep
What the shepherds did in one night, we spend our
lifetimes doing. We learn of our Savior in the Bible. We
then spend the rest of our lives looking forward to the
moment when we will gaze upon His glorious face -- just
like they did. Because of His life, death and resurrection,
we will be able to remain in His wonderful presence forever.
Lord Jesus, the shepherds left their flocks behind to find
you. Give me that same excitement that I may leave
everything to walk with You through life until I meet
You face to face. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

02:58 Posted in Blog, RELIGION | Permalink | Comments (0)



Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host ... (Luke 2:13a).      Read Luke 2:13-14.
One of my favorite Christmas presents was my army men.
Those little, green guys could go anywhere. One of the best
places was in my younger brother's toy parking garage
(remember that big box I claimed as mine?). The soldiers
with flame throwers and bazookas were pretty easy to hit.
But no matter how you threw the Lincoln Log bombs, you
could never pick off the sniper hiding in the elevator. Having
control of that army was amazing.
The shepherds saw an army that first Christmas too. After
the angel made his magnificent announcement, a multitude
of the heavenly host suddenly appeared. Luke described it
as an angel army. The eternal Son of God, now lying as a
Baby in Bethlehem's manger, had created each and every
one of them. He was their Lord, commanding them like a
brilliant general.
Throughout the Old Testament He sent this angel army to
shield and protect His people from their enemies. Now they
have come to sing the praises of their Holy Commander.
They call on all the inhabitants of heaven to give glory to
God for keeping His promises and revealing His grace by
sending His Son as a Man.
Jesus' coming to earth fills heaven with glory and pours
out peace upon the earth. That peace is offered to each and
every man, woman and child. Jesus won that peace with
God through His perfect life and His atoning sacrifice on the
cross. Sadly, many will reject this greatest Christmas gift,
and the peace and protection He came to bring.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your angel armies who protect
us but, more importantly, thank You for winning our peace
through Your life, death and resurrection. Grant me faith to
never take Your salvation for granted. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

15:10 Posted in Blog, RELIGION | Permalink | Comments (0)

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