Thursday, December 17, 2015

LSB 377 On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

LSB 377 On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

The Sussex Carol gathers three specific benefits from the Angel's announcement. The poet reflected on who Jesus was and what He would accomplish. What is the proper work of Christ the Lord?

  1. The Savior, who is Christ the Lord, releases the captives - The Exodus account from the time of Moses sets the pattern. Slavery to Pharaoh corresponds to spiritual slavery. Fighting against the will of our Father in heaven is shown as slavery. We are locked in and down under other taskmasters who work to keep us out of our Father's Freedom. Satan instead would bind us in our sins, wrap us up in death just as surely as Lazarus was wrapped up in his tomb until Jesus called him out. Liberty and freedom are liberty from the spiritual terrorists of chaos, death and spiritual darkness.
  2. The Savior, who is Christ the Lord, casts out our sin - Biblically the source of life, health and abundance is the God. In manufacturing terms, Jesus delivers the Father's gifts. The Son, the Christ, comes literally knocking on our door (Revelation 3:20) and has presents to bring.  Jesus himself describes his work this way with respect to sin and the satanic in Mark 3. After a whirlwind round of casting out demons and healing diseases, Jesus' enemies accuse Him of being in league with the devil himself. Jesus can command demons because He is the head demon. Jesus response is a kind of theological, "Are you kidding me?" The Son of God, the Savior, the Christ comes to bind Satan and heal any who have been captured under Satan's sway. In the words of another favorite carol, "Life and Light to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings." Here the verse restates it, "When sin departs..., life and health come." Over and over throughout His ministry Jesus wins that battle until the resurrection wins the war. This teaching is united to the healing and life provided by the Father in the Sacrament of the Altar, forgiveness of sins only is a minimalist view of the gifts of the Sacrament and Luther himself never intends us to stop there. All the benefits of the resurrected, living, reigning Son of God come to His people in His Body and Blood.
  3. The Savior, who is Christ the Lord, shines Light into darkness. Sighted people have long taken that sense for granted. Blind people around the world are important, productive, and generous. The issue is really perception. Plato's Parable of the Cave is a classic story along those lines. Many cultures have stories about light breaking into darkness. All of those stories from around the world do a marvelous job of identifying the problem. Mythology in general does a marvelous job of identifying the ways humans experience their brokenness. Current Events depict our struggling in the darkness. We gather our commentators, paid pundents and talking head prophets on all the news outlets to share their "wisdom". They claim to be able to "see".
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, 
but will have the light of life.”

Only One has Risen from the dead.
Jesus, the Savior, who is Christ the LORD

Luke 2:10-14, 20 
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!” ...
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

John 8:32, 36 
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 

Romans 5:15-21 
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 8:12 
I Am the Light of the World
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Acts 26:18 
Open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus Christ].’
The Sacrament of the Altar
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.
What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?
These words, "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.