Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

He Takes Nothing on His Own

Advent 1, Wednesday                                  January 4, 2019


Savior of the Nations, Come


  1. 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.


  1. From the manger newborn light

Shines in glory through the night.

Darkness there no more resides;

In this light faith now abides.


Isaiah 9:1-7

1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,

As when at first He lightly esteemed

The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,

In Galilee of the Gentiles.

2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light;

Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,

Upon them a light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy;

They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden

And the staff of his shoulder,

The rod of his oppressor, As in the day of Midian.

5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,

And garments rolled in blood,

Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice, From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


John 1:1-14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.



In the Name of Jesus.


The invitation from Satan to Adam and Eve: Come, join me in my kingdom, eat of the fruit, and you will be like God.


The invitation from Satan to the children of Adam and Eve, to us: Come, join me in my kingdom, desire what you want, grab what you desire, find your joy in things you can grab by your own strength, and you will be like God.


Satan’s enticement to “be like God” is his invitation to us to be not creatures. Creatures—that is, those who are created, those who didn’t create their own lives, but receive their lives purely and only as gift.


Satan’s temptation is to receive things not as gift from a loving Creator, but as what we can grasp and grab and hold onto by our own desire and lust and strength and power.


The way of gifts is the way not of grabbing and holding with our own power, but of receiving into an open hand, as a child receiving gifts from a parent.


Satan’s invitation is to know our lives and everything in our lives not in the way of gift and generosity from a living God, but as that which we grab and control and manipulate by our own devices and power.



The Invitation to the Savior:

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.


The Lord chose this birth. This was given to him, a gift from his Father. He takes nothing on his own, he grasps and grabs at no pomp or prestige or office or authority by his own power. He receives gifts from his Father.


The gift to him from his Father: it’s you and me. It’s our children we bring to his gifts in Baptism. It’s all those who belong to his Name both now and throughout the generations. John 17:6:

[Jesus said,] “I have manifested Your name, [O, Father,] to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.”


Jesus receives all things as gift from his Father.


For this reason, he chose such a birth—the birth to the Virgin—that he might make here his home.


His home here, on Earth, among sinners.


For sinners. To take the sin of every sinner upon himself. That he might give to those who rebelled, those who refused to be creatures created to receive gifts from the Father, those who made themselves citizens of Satan’s kingdom where all things are grasped and held onto, as if we would have nothing if we didn’t grab it for ourselves—that he might give to us the gift of reconciliation to the Father, the gift of belonging to the kingdom of grace, the gift of being made his own.


Unto us—us sinners, we who want to grab things by our own power, want to justify ourselves, we who will turn a gift into a work as we learned to do from our parents, Adam and Eve—unto us a Child is born, a Son is given, and his Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


So he came among us, and we beheld his glory. It is the glory of One receiving gifts from the Father, One given by the Father to be the Lamb of God to redeem all sinners—it is the glory of One giving himself the ransom for many. There is no greater glory ever on the face of the Earth than the One hanging on the cross, giving himself as the gift for every sinner.


Now the Church sings to him.


It is an invitation from those who have been restored to the Father, from those who have grown weary of having what can only be grabbed onto by our own strength, and who now are given to rejoice in being given gifts by the Lord of life:

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.


In the Name of Jesus.