Monday, November 30, 2015

LSB 359 Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

LSB 359 Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming 

God promises one new beautiful rose, 
a single Branch of Jesse's line. 

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As prophets long have sung,
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to us a Savior,
When half-spent was the night.

This flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness ev’rywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens ev’ry load.

O Savior, child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Savior, King of glory,
Who dost our weakness know:
Bring us at length we pray
To the bright courts of heaven,
And to the endless day.

Public domain

Lovers give roses to show how much they care.

The Creator God gave us a rose. His very own precious rose. 

At the start, He made us in His image to image Him for the rest of creation. Every person was to reflect God's love to one another, to the creation, and back to God as a great and marvelous circulatory system of love. The Lover and the beloved in perfect harmony.
Ever since we willfully disengaged, God has been administering cosmic CPR. 

Isaiah promises that, in spite of the course of human events, God is not going to be put off fulfilling his promise to be with us.

Out of the wreckage of a failed attempt to set up the Kingdom of God by force, by the edge of a sword, with a kingship “like all the other nations”, God promises to grow one new beautiful rose, a single Branch of Jesse's line. A Savior born to rescue humanity from its true enemies has to come from somewhere.

God is so particular. 

He's concerned about the earthy details. God saves humanity by becoming human. God saves people by becoming a person, a real person with a real birth. 

God could not do that in a general sense. God couldn't do that by being born of all humanity in all times and in every place. That kind of “Universal birth” of God would be another round of mythology like Athena springing out of Zeus' head.

No, Jesus the Savior and Son of God is Son of Mary of Nazareth, a refugee in Bethlehem, at a particular time and in a particular place. Taking on a true human nature comes with the location problem.

Jesus is there and then.

Fascinatingly, in order to be there and then we needed Mary, Joseph and all their ancestors leading back to the first. So along the way God binds Himself to the ancestors of Jesus in order to encourage them to reflect His image the best they can until the Savior comes. 

Until God presents humanity with His bouquet.  

With His single long stem Rose, the Father brings beauty, life, and light back to the world – again, not in a general spiritualistic way, but by being the first one to lick death in single combat. 

This beautiful rose dispels the darkness, saves from sin and death, carries our burdens, feels our woe and weakness, and ushers us across the threshold of heaven. 

So, maybe we should gives roses for Christmas... 

Song of Songs 2:1
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Jeremiah 23:5
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Jeremiah 33:15
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Zechariah 6:12
And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.

Isaiah 11:1-5

The Righteous Reign of the Branch
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Matthew 1:1-25 (selected verses) Jesus' Ancestry

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,...

and Jesse the father of David the king...,

and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.