Dear Friends and Members of Shepherd of the Hills,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS! At the risk of treating lightly the birth of our Lord, I wish you a “Happy Birthday Jesus.” Remember being a child and the excitement about your birthday? I know I would look forward to the special food made just for me by my mom. I longed to open the presents that I knew were waiting. I anticipated my cousins and family coming to my house.
Christmas is the celebration of God being born among us. The fullness of the divine assuming humanity into it. The profound nature of this event is lost on my limited human mind. I’m even more befuddled when I consider the purpose and intent of this infant born among us; this babe of Bethlehem who is sinless, dying for my sin and rising again. May we never miss the significance of the nativity simply because we are so familiar with it. May Immanuel, God with Us, always induce that awe and reverence that it deserves.
That being said, “Happy Birthday Jesus” fits as well. We pause from the fullness of life to gather, remember and give thanks. We feast in celebration. We give gifts to one another in remembrance of His gift to us. Jesus does away with our sin. Jesus defeats the devil. Jesus destroys death. These are His gifts to us. Our response to these gifts is to receive them faithfully, to live within these beautiful treasures and to share this treasure with all.
I look forward to celebrating Jesus’ birth with you this week. Join me on Saturday at 6:30 as we remember the night of His birth. After service on Saturday, for all who would like to stay for a few minutes after, we will fellowship with a birthday cake for Jesus, because His birth blesses us. On Sunday we gather at 10:30AM to receive Jesus’ gifts in the Divine Service.
A blessed and Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.