Saturday, December 05, 2020

Daily devotion for November 5, 2020

Jesus' Word that Sustains the Weary (Isaiah 50:4) Today's Devotion from Pastor Merrill Saturday, December 5, 2020 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-3 [ESV] The Christmas carol, "We Three Kings of Orient Are," describes the visit of the Magi, or wise men from the East, to see the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. We don't know if they were three (the Bible does not give a number; it does mention three gifts--gold, frankincense, and myrrh), and they were almost certainly not kings, but many nativity scenes portray them that way. Perhaps that is because of this passage from Isaiah, which predicts that the Savior of Israel would come, and that "nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." We recall the light of the star that guided the Magi to the infant Jesus. The "light" in this passage certainly is Jesus, the promised Savior, and the coming of the Magi is the first time we see "nations" outside Israel coming to worship the newborn King. Verse 6 of Isaiah 60 mentions camels, which are traditionally the transport of the Magi, and includes the phrase, "they shall bring gold and frankincense." It all adds up. Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament to be not only the Savior of the Jewish nation, the children of Abraham, but the Savior of the nations. All nations would behold the glory of the Lord in the Messiah who was born King of the Jews. Advent reminds us that Jesus at His first coming came for all people. We rejoice that by God's grace we who were not born into the family of Abraham have been brought into the family of God. We have seen the light of God's glory, shining from the cross. By grace we have believed, and we, too, worship the newborn King. Advent also reminds us that all nations will be represented in the family of God when Jesus comes again. We remember the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20). Advent is a time to remember and support our missionaries, who bring the light of Jesus to nations in darkness. By the preaching of the Gospel, nations still come to the Savior's light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. Prayer: "Savior of the Nations, come, Virgin's Son, make here Your home! Marvel now, O heav'n and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth." (LSB #332, v. 1) Amen.

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