Wednesday, December 16, 2015

LSB 376 Once In Royal David's City

LSB 376 Once In Royal David's City

5 Not in that poor, lowly stable
            With the oxen standing by
        Shall we see Him, but in heaven,
            Set at God’s right hand on high.
        Then like stars His children, crowned,
           All in white, His praise will sound!

Public domain

For He is our childhood's pattern

Jesus is a wonder in and of Himself to be sure.  The 100% God and 100% Man thing is outrageous in and of itself. Yeah, terrible math, but very cool theology. The carol having established the mystery of the incarnation in verses 1 and 2 indicates some of the reasons God took on flesh at Christmas.

I noted in an earlier post (See Amid The Winter Snow) that Jesus is our Template. This is a common assertion within Christianity but in America is often simply associated with the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) movement. The generic approach asks the Christian to consider the ethics of a situation and attempt to emulate Christ - Christ, who is perfect God and Man.  Some object to this life tactic because as they rightly point out, we are sinners and Jesus was not.  We can't do what Jesus would do, He is God and Lord of all, and we are anything but...

However, that is only half true.

Christ for us establishes all the blessings of forgiveness, life now, eternal life forever, and victory over all our spiritual enemies. But once established, those blessings also insist on the active blessings worked by Christ in us.  Jesus, God the Son, fully flesh and blood lays a claim on our flesh and blood and refuses to leave it the way he found it. Being sacramentally united to Christ, that is, being Baptized into:
  1. His conception by the Holy Spirit, 
  2. Sinless Birth, 
  3. Perfect Childhood (parents ponder that for a while), 
  4. Perfect Life of Obedience to God the Father
  5. Perfect Life of Service in God the Holy Spirit, 
  6. As well as suffering, death, burial for our sins
  7. Resurrection
  8. Ascension into Heaven to Rule all things for the Good
All this is not just Christ for me, but also the template for what His rule in me lives like.  This is not a new law to obey. No, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Perfect God and Perfect Man, insists that He lives in me, works through me, and in fact insists on having He LORDly way with me.  He does not set a new and improved impossible game plan only to be come the most celebrated cheerleader of a losing team - IT"S STILL HIS GAME. HE WINS.

Amazingly, He promises that He wins for us, to win in us, to win others through us.

There is a real live perfect man who actually is able to do and obey and to serve absolutely selflessly not only in heaven but in each and every one of His disciples.

He is putting death to death - overcoming brokennesslawlessness, selfishness, hate, fear, pain, and hellish bent.  

The written word imprints the Living Word on our minds. 
The spoken word implants the Loving Word in our hearts. 
The sacramental word clothes and feeds us with the almighty Word. 

To paraphrase Oliver Twist: "Please, sir, I want some more." More Jesus, that is.

So, He leads His children on, to the place where He is gone.

"Follow Me." - "It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

Luke 2:4-7 
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
John 1:1-4, 14 
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 
Romans 10:12 
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 
Hebrews 4:15-16 
Jesus the Great High Priest
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 John  3:2 
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
John 14:3
[Jesus said] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

John 17:24 
[Jesus prayed] Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
 Revelation 7:9-12
A Great Multitude from Every Nation
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”