Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014

Second Sunday after Christmas Day (and, the 12th day of Christmas!)
Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:[1-9] 10-18

Jeremiah looks ahead to a time where the Lord will redeem his people, Israel. And the Psalm tells us that He will send peace and end hunger. And that He can do it, because even the weather listens to Him and obeys. And Ephesians says that we Gentiles, too, will be adopted into God's family. The Lord will redeem Gentiles, too!

Ephesians 1:12-14 says, "God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him."

Isn't that good news, this 12th day of Christmas? That the Lord wants to adopt us all into His family? That the Lord of the Universe, who causes both the falling of the snow and the melting of the snow, wants to redeem us and save us? During the season of Christmas, we ponder and celebrate the fact that God came to the earth as a human in order to redeem His people.

John 1:10-18 says, "He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us."

(emphasis mine)

Are you a child of God? How does one become a child of God?

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