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Mystery and Miracle
Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:32 pm
Mary asked, "How can this be?" Luke 1:34
Consider the questions present in the Nativity account.
How can God become man?
How can the eternal Word become flesh and dwell among us?
How can He who is equal with God take upon Himself the form of a servant and be born in human likeness?
There is no way we can fathom the depths of the mystery of God becoming man. Ponder and wonder.
Questions pile upon question.
Why did the Messiah come as He did-as a babe, so small and helpless?
Why was Mary chosen?
Why was there no room in Bethlehem's inn for the Son of God?
Could 1 Corinthians 1:27 lead us to an answer? Think of the paradox present in the manner God often choses to reveal Himself.
The greatest mystery still lies before us. Why??
Why should God do this for us?
(Because we are so good or deserving? This is an illusion, and in no way a part of the mystery.)
There is no answer, but simply the acknowledgment that to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given.
And by seeing HOW God loved us we know THAT He loves us.
Re: Mystery and Miracle
Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:02 am
As Confessional Luthernans, we have such a richness to our theology that embraces the mysteries of the Holy Scriptures better than any other tradition. It's the faulty use of rationalism and a magisterial use of reason which we find rampant not just in the secular world but also sadly in the majority of Christendom. We must let our reason submit and serve the Scriptures, rather than standing over it.
Pastor is correct in his understanding that we don't have all the answers. He also rightly goes on to mention that what we do have however is the Word of God that can be trusted. Whether it be reasonable or not to our fallible minds. What God declares, must be true. He cannot lie.
This Christmas we celebrate God taking on humanity as the second Adam. Let us come to this Christmas Eve service rejoicing in the great mysteries. Our King became incarnate, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was triumphant over sin, death, and the devil through his death and resurrection. That he indeed comes again to us on the lips of our pastor as he speaks his holy absolution to us. That he truly is present with us in the bread and wine as we partake of his divine nature through faith for the forgiveness of all of our sins. What glorious incomprehensible mysteries! What a great God we have!
Re: Mystery and Miracle
Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:48 pm
In felt it apropos to repost the same input I had in a prior discussion:
When I consider the Holy Spirits blessing upon prophets in the Old Testament (i.e. Isaiah today), I realize that God has chosen “them” to represent true wisdom and truth from God’s perspective. They were men raised up by God in a decadent day when both priest and king were no longer worthy channels through whom the expressions of God might flow.
These men not only spoke of events in the far-off future but also spoke of local events in the immediate future. We are now in the same situation today facing a myriad of roadblocks attempting to undermine God’s wisdom with human endeavors and concerns brought to us today as mentioned by Pastor Mau above.
The focus of children today in the world this time of year is mainly upon gifts, cookies, decorations and Santa.
The birth of Jesus draws their attention (especially when they are chosen for “parts” in the manger production) with which they relate to due to their age and babies around many of them. They completely miss the fact that gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent preciousness along with embalming spices used in burials which has futuristic significance pointing to our Saviors redemptive death which grants mercy to ALL accepting Christ as their personal savior.
St. Paul refers to the growth from baby food to adult solid food (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)
 I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready,
 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?
So to answer Pastor Mau’s request (“ How can you prepare for God's coming?”), I would answer: Continue to listen to God’s precious written WORD and stay focused on HIS TRUE WISDOM (Christ is wisdom personified) while reflecting HIS desired manner of living to those all around us, in addition to spreading and sharing the GOSPEL of Good News as Christ commanded.
Re: Mystery and Miracle
Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:28 pm
Much as I love the Church's historic hymnody, especially the hymns replete with insight from and allusion to God's eternal truth, the one that popped into my head when I pondered Pastor's post was the simple folk hymn "What Wondrous Love is This."
...What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss...
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
The short answer to the "Why?" is "Love". Easy to say, impossible to understand, but delightful to experience.
To God and to the Lamb I will sing...