24 December 2008

A Most Joyous Feast of the Nativity!

To all visitors to this blog, let me wish you one and all a joyous celebration of our Lord's nativity in the flesh! The celebration begins at twilight this evening and the joy runs for all the 12 days of the Christmas Feast and then we step forward into the bright light of Epiphany. None captured better the spirit of the Church's celebration during these days than Pope St. Leo the Great:

Dear beloved brethren: Unto us is born this day a Savior. Let us rejoice. It would be unlawful to be sad today, for today is Life's birthday; the birthday of that Life which, for us mortal creatures, takes away the sting of death and brings the bright promise of an eternal hereafter. It would be unlawful for any man to refuse sharing in our rejoicing. All men have an equal part in the great reason why we are joyful for our Lord, who is the destroyer of sin and death, finding that all are bound under condemnation, is come to make all free. Rejoice, if you are a saint, for you are drawing nearer your crown! Rejoice, if you are sinner, for your Savior offers you pardon! And if you are a pagan, rejoice, for God calls you to life! For when the fulness of time was come the Son of God took upon Himself the nature of man so that He might reconcile that nature to Him who made it; hence the devil, the inventor of death, is met and conquered in that very flesh which had been the field of his victory. Let us give thanks to God the Father through His Son in the Holy Spirit, who for His great love wherewith He loves us has had mercy on us and has quickened us together with Christ even when we were dead in sins, that in Him we might be a new creature and a new handiwork. Let us then put off the old man with his deeds, and having obtained a share in the sonship of Christ, let us renounce the deeds of the flesh. Be conscious, O Christian, of your dignity! You have been made a partaker of the divine nature; do not fall again by a corrupt manner of life into the beggarly elements above which you have been lifted. Remember whose body it is of which you are a member, and who is its Head. Remember that it is He who has delivered you from the power of darkness and has transferred you into God's light and God's kingdom.


You have been loved with an eternal love, and that love has shown forth from the pure Virgin - so rejoice one and all! A merry Christmas to you!

8 comments:

Dennis said...

Pastor Weedon,

May you also have a Blessed Christmas. Thanks for your faithful witness and words to our Lord.

Dennis

Paul McCain said...

Here is another "goodie," this one from Blessed Martin Luther:

We have a Savior who can save us from the power of this world’s god (2 Cor. 4:4) and prince (John 16:11), the devil, that is, from sin and death. This means that He must be the true, eternal God, through whom all believers in Him become righteous and are saved. For if He is not greater and more exalted than Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, or John the Baptist, He cannot be our Redeemer. But if, as God’s Son, He sheds His blood to redeem us and cleanse us from sin, and if we believe this, rubbing it under the devil’s nose whenever he tries to plague and terrify us with our sins, the devil will soon be beaten; he will be forced to withdraw and to stop molesting us. For the hook, which is the divinity of Christ, was concealed under the earthworm. The devil swallowed it with his jaws when Christ died and was buried. But it ripped his belly so that he could not retain it but had to disgorge it. He ate death for himself. This affords us the greatest solace; for just as the devil could not hold Christ in death, so he cannot hold us who believe in Christ. But, secondly, we must have a Savior who is also our Brother, who is of our flesh and blood, who became like us in all respects but sin. And in the children’s Creed we say, sing, and confess: “I believe in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God the Father Almighty, conceived by the Holy Ghost, not by Joseph, born of Mary, a true, natural man who suffered, was crucified, died, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God, coequal with the Father in power and glory.” With a cheerful heart I may declare: “I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who sits on His right hand as my Advocate. He is of my flesh and blood; yes, He is my Brother. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, became incarnate, and died for our sins.” And John, too, introduced his Gospel with the theme of the eternal deity of Christ when he said: “In the beginning was the Word”; “this Word,” he added later, “became flesh.”

Source:
Martin Luther
Sermon on John 1:4, 1537.
American Edition
Volume 22
Page 24

Christine said...

Joyous and Blessed Christmas, Pastor Weedon and all my brothers and sisters in Christ!

-C said...

And also with you!

-C said...

or should that be, "and with thy spirit"?

Jon Townsend said...

Happy Christmas Pastor Weedon!

Jon

William Weedon said...

Thanks, one and all. Great quote, Pr. McCain. And -C, round these parts it's "and with thy spirit." :)

Brad V. said...

Merry Christmas