Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Once He Came in Blessing

Blessed Advent.  Today is December 18th and while I may blurt out a "Merry Christmas" or two born out of habit, I do not mistake that we, the church, are observing Advent, not Christmas, at this time.

For thousands of years God's people have waited. Since the fall, we have waited, and the church continues to wait.  Those who are asleep in Christ as well as we who are alive... we wait.  We wait for the restoration of all creation; for the removal of sin and all its deformity, decimation, and desecration.

And while we wait, our Lord comes.  He came to the Hebrews in fire, cloud, and manna.  He came to Mary and the disciples in flesh and blood.  And He comes to us in Bread and Wine.

The season of Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of our Lord and Savior.  The coming of our Immanuel, God with us.  And He is with us.   He is the Christ and He comes to us in His Word and Sacraments.  Advent ends with Christmas, with the Christ Mass. Advent ends with the giving of the very thing we have been praying would come. It ends with our Lord coming to us in the Holy Supper;  His true body, His true blood.  We kneel at the altar just as the shepherds knelt at the manger, and we also... behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.

Receive Christ this Christmas.  Receive His body and His blood. Receive His Word.  Receive His forgiveness.
Amen, Come Lord Jesus.

St. John Lutheran Church celebrates Christmas at 9:00 on Christmas morning.
416 Main Ave.
Clinton, Iowa

Once He Came in Blessing

Once He came in blessing, 
All our sins redressing; 

Came in likeness lowly,

Son of God most holy;
Bore the cross to save us;
Hope and freedom gave us.

Now He gently leads us;
With Himself He feeds us
Precious food from heaven,
Pledge of peace here given,  
Manna that will nourish
Souls that they may flourish. 

Soon will come that hour
When with mighty power
Christ will come in splendor
And will judgment render,
With the faithful sharing
Joy beyond comparing

Come, then, O Lord Jesus,
From our sins release us. 
Keep our hearts believing,
That we, grace receiving, 
Ever may confess You
Till in heav'n we bless You.

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