Thursday, December 24, 2015

An open letter

My dear sister in Christ,

On this, the last day of Advent, I want you to know that I have been praying for you this season.  I know that darkness is often deep and enduring, and it can crowd out the light the Christmas season brings.  I know, because I have griefs of my own.   Advent, dear sister, is the season for us.  Advent is for those who sit in darkness, for those who yearn for redemption, for those who await from the Lord great and abundant mercy.  Advent is for us.

Advent gathers our sorrows unto herself and bids us cry our penitential tears.  And so we do. She reveals our sadness, hopes, and fears, and bids us lay them before the Lord.  And so we do.   She brings an ever-burning light into our homes, and bids us look to Christ.  And so we do.

On this night, when Christ, who is our light descends to us to cast out our sin, let not your hearts be troubled.  For though your griefs are many and your sorrows deep, Christ has entered the world to be your light.  His birth quells the power of hell, and his great and abundant mercy flows far as the curse is found.

We, with the shepherds, kneel before the manger to see Isaiah's prophesies fulfilled in Christ- a child, a son, the Word silently pleading for us.  Nails and spear pierced him through, as he bore the cross for you.  He, the second Adam, came to mend what sin had marred, and to give us the right to be the heirs of heaven above.

I pray for you this night, as I have been praying for you:

“O Jesus, very light of light,
Our constant star in sin’s deep night:
Now hear the prayers,
Your people pray,
Throughout the world this holy day,
Aleluia!” (LSB 403 v. 2)

“Thou, Christian heart,
Whoe’er thou art,
Be of good cheer
and let no sorrow move thee.
For God’s own Child,
In mercy mild,
Joins thee to Him; how greatly God must love thee!” (LSB 372, v. 4)

God’s great and abundant mercy be yours tonight.

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