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The light in the manger

Luke 2:1-14

Pastor David Ernst

Christmas Eve
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Fri, Dec 24, 2021 

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

While some shepherds were tending their sheep, the angel of the Lord appears to them surrounded by radiant light. For the shepherds, the light and voice of the angel broke the tranquility of the field like fireworks today in this season. But, even more, imagine the fear they must have felt when they thought they were in the divine presence. The word translated "glory" appears more than 400 times in the Old Testament. It denotes the amazing splendor and holiness of God. Jehovah told Moses that no human being can see the light of this glory and live. He showed his back to Moses and the glory reflected on Moses' face frightened the people. Then the apostles Peter, John and James saw the light of glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, with Jesus Christ himself as the filter, otherwise they were scared. However, the angel said to them: "Do not be afraid, for I bring you news of great joy, which will be for all the people."

This first angelic apparition was followed by a second even more resplendent of the heavenly hosts who sang glory to God on high. This song is divided into three parts: the first gives all the glory, honor and majesty to God the Father who demonstrated his honor and majesty by sending his Son; the second is worth God the Son on earth for having brought peace between God and human beings and having reconciled God with the world; the third, to God the Holy Spirit for having made human beings acceptable to God by appropriating the merits of Christ and clothing them in his righteousness.

The first people to hear this song were common men of the people of Israel, not the rich and powerful men. The humble in spirit recognized the glory of God. Those who, in love with the pride of the world, did not take into account the first coming of our Lord. It is very important to note that Luke puts the birth of Christ in historical context; It is not something outside of history but within history, at the very center of the history of the world and for the world. It is not a story but a reality that occurred at a certain moment in history, where God used ordinary events to carry out his plan.

He is subject to a decree of Caesar Augustus, but Caesar unknowingly serves him. Always the same, God uses history and human actions to serve his cause and fulfill the prophecies. In Micah 5: 2 it was predicted that he would be born in Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus reigned from 30 BC to 14 AD, as the first emperor of Rome. Censuses were often taken in those days for the purpose of taxation. The time is set even more accurately by the statement that this census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. However, neither Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor, nor Quirinius, the governor of Syria, nor another rich or powerful man, witnessed the birth of the King of kings. Christ is born of a humble mother, but a virgin, as Isaiah 7:14 prophesied.

Some time before, Joseph had celebrated his marriage to Mary, but although the wedding has taken place, the consummation of the marriage has not taken place, Matthew 1: 24-25. Christ is born as a poor and weak being, but he is the almighty God and man at the same time. The same always, he appears small and weak, but hidden, veiled is the power of God: Baptism, Holy Supper, the preaching of the Word of God. But that, we approach the altar with reverence and humility, for the glory of God it is here, although it is not yet visible in the eyes of the world. Although the great and wise of the world reject him, they have no place for him, an angel announces his coming, the heavenly hosts welcome him. Thus Christians are to unite their voices of praise and announce to the world the redemptive love of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

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