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Blessings in a great day and year

January 27, 2013
Pastor Boyce , Reinbeck Courier

Isaiah 62:12

"And they shall be called 'the Holy People,' and the 'Redeemed of the Lord,

and you shall be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.'"

You are now back to work, back to school, or back to the old grindstone, depending on your age and vocation. Why does Christmas have to end? You may feel sad that today you find yourself back in the same old things. If you would rather be at home with your family, you are not alone. We don't want Christmas to end with all the fuzzy-good feelings with family and friends. Well just remember, that Christmas is never over in the hearts of Christians. Now, and even in heaven to come, you live in the blessed love of the Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, the One who is with you and guiding you each and every day.

If you are feeling moody, blue or just tired, don't think that nothing is going right. God's love for you today doesn't depend on you and your feelings; your peace and comfort and joy are anchored in Jesus Christ. In Christ, you are never forsaken by God; you are always loved by the merciful and gracious God and Father. In Christ, your life is filled with meaning and you are never alone. In Christ, today and this year, you are blessed. God will work for the good of everything you face this year. So Immanuel, "God with us", gives us joy, hope, peace and purpose in every moment throughout the year.

Today is His Day. Today is a gift from your Lord and another day to receive from His gifts and blessings! Each day you can rise, and like Luther, begin in the name of the Triune God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You step into each day blessed in the Lord. You can live each day knowing that you are the blessed child of the Creator-Father who loves you in His perfect love.

Christ has taken your mourning and turned it to celebration. He has turned defeat into victory. He has taken shame and turned it into the fullness of joy in Jesus Christ. Do not go through each day 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' as things may look bleak or even impossible.

Your heavenly Father has saved you by His undeserved love, and continues to lead you forward in His peace each day. This is the peace that only He has accomplished and only He can give you. The world did not end on December 21st as was errantly predicted or suggested. I was certain it wouldn't, because Jesus said clearly that His day to return was not knowable by man, not even to Jesus in His humanity. Your Lord will not give the devil, the world or our sinful human nature total power over us.

Christ has redeemed you in spite of your self. He has rescued you back from sin, death and the devil. Your gracious, heavenly Father continues to love you perfectly. In your worst moments this year, God still reaches out to you with His Word of comfort and peace and victory through Jesus Christ. All this God has done, and continues to do, as He blesses you with forgiveness, life and salvation through your victorious Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.

We now are celebrating the season of Epiphany. Epiphany is about God revealing Himself to us in Jesus Christ. We can say with Simeon each and every day, "Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word, for mine eyes have seen Your salvation."

You are forgiven through Jesus Christ. You are the delight of the Lord as the Holy Spirit lives in you and guides you each day. You are His, the sheep of His pasture and His beloved. As you move forward into this year, you live as the Bride of Christ, for you are His Church. So, begin each day confessing with joy that you are a baptized child of God who is destined for great things.

Continued Christmas blessings as you rejoice each day in the confidence of God's love and peace.

"What Adam lost, none could reclaim, And Paradise was barred

Until the second Adam came To mend what sin had marred.

For when the time was full and right God sent His only Son;

He came to us as life and light And our redemption won." (Lutheran Service Book. Hymn 362, Vs 2)



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