“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15
A number of years ago the Lutheran Hour had a series titled ‘Joseph, carpenter of steel’ and it caused me to consider what Joseph and Mary were going through as they traveled to Bethlehem with the unborn Savior of this world 2,000 years ago. How many doors would you have knocked on to find a place for your pregnant wife and unborn child to stay in so they would not have had to spend the night in a stable? We still recall that journey and give thanks for that Birth on that Holy night. The important lesson to consider is that God was in control of that journey, is in control of your journey and has not forgot about you, me, over 24,000 children who attend Lutheran schools throughout Haiti and this Haitian carpenter living in Thomassique who make caskets. The truly important thing to dwell upon this Advent is that our Heavenly Father will never forget about you; you and I may occasionally turn away to the temptations of this sinful world; but He will never turn away from you. I’m closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Christians, Awake, Salute the Happy Morn’ that were written by John Byrom in 1749.
“Christians, awake, salute the happy morn whereon the Savior of the world was born. Rise to adore the mystery of love which hosts of angels chanted from above; with them the joyful tidings first begun of God Incarnate and the Virgin's Son. Then to the watchful shepherds it was told, who heard the angelic herald's voice, "Behold, I bring good tidings of a Savior's birth to you and all the nations upon earth; this day hath God fulfilled His promised word; this day is born a Savior, Christ the Lord." He spake; and straightway the celestial choir in hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire; the praises of redeeming love they sang, and heaven's whole orb with alleluias rang. God's highest glory was their anthem still, peace upon earth, and unto men good will. To Bethlehem straight th' enlightened shepherds ran to see the wonder God had wrought for man and found, with Joseph and the blessed maid, her Son, the Savior, in a manger laid; then to their flocks, still praising God, return. And their glad hearts with holy rapture burn. Oh, may we keep and ponder in our mind God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind! Trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss, from His poor manger to His bitter cross, tread in His steps, assisted by His grace, till man's first heavenly state again takes place. Then may we hope, th' angelic hosts among, to sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song. He that was born upon this joyful day around us all His glory shall display. Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing eternal praise to heaven's almighty King.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay