Christmas Week – Thursday
Thus saith the Lord: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. – Isaiah 9:2
We learn from Luke 2:8-20 that on the night of Jesus’ birth “there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them: ‘Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ ”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’ And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
In these words we, too, see heavenly glory and eternal salvation, for we see the Savior. Here darkness vanishes. Fear is turned to gladness. Let us seek and see the Savior in His Word, that we may be sure of being His in faith. Let us tell others of Him. Let us keep His Word and ponder it in our hearts. Let us joyously glorify and praise God for His great mercy.
PRAYER. – Gracious and merciful God, I give thanks to Thee, that Thou didst not leave us poor, lost sinners in darkness, but didst send us the promised Savior, the true and eternal Light, and didst cause Thy Word to be preached to us. O faithful God, cause this Light to shine into my poor heart, that, enlightened in true faith, I may constantly magnify and praise Thee through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.
Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
Glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o’ercloud this light;
Ever be our faith thus bright.
Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.
Hymn 95, 6. 7.