The Sunday After Christmas December 30, 2012
136, 95, 87(1, 3-4), 103(1-4), 710 (TLH alt. 647), 713 (TLH alt. 89), 97
Do you see what I see? I see a world stricken with fear,
A world in which evil exists and sin’s effects are very clear.
I see a world in turmoil, its people running to and fro
Using all their time and energy, but for what? They really do not know.
I see a world of sorrow. Surely we all have times in which we weep
For the failures we face, the hurts we feel, and the loss of what we cannot keep.
Yet even more then this is the sorrow in the world that knows no end,
The deep, unquenchable sorrow of living life and having no one upon whom to depend.
We live in a world in which one human being takes the life of another—
A stranger in a back alley, someone angry at a school, and many times each day even the victim’s own mother.
It is a world in which we lock our doors and take every precaution to remain safe and sound.
And yet no matter what we do, we’ll hear of tragedy and atrocity the whole world ‘round.
I see a world with it citizens dissatisfied no matter how much they have and put in store
Who strive for the pleasures and treasures of this life and still are not happy because they have nothing more.
People of the world who in their lives make what God says is “white” into “black,” and “black” into “white,”
They laugh and they thrill to mock God’s will with how they live both day and night.
It is a world of self pleasure, of danger, unhappiness, and a place in which the mighty sometimes fall.
It is a world in which the unthinkable happens and then is played over and over again in front of us all.
When we look out to our world we grieve because it is such sorrow and trouble we see,
But God has seen this world in its sinful state and grieved much longer than we.
Why look out this window and view such things on what is to be a joyful day,
“Why must we think of such things on Christmas time?” You might very well say.
Truly, Christmas is a time of joy—not a celebration of this world’s woe,
But if we do not see the real world in which we live, the full wonder of Christmas we cannot know.
For you see, it is to this very world that God’s own Son came down,
He didn’t try to avoid it, or take one look and then turn around.
The Son of God came to give rescue from all that you see,
He lived holy in this wickedness so that He might set us all free!
Do you see what I see? I see the Savior born in Bethlehem to change our world view.
Look and see the world for what it is, but thanks be to Jesus it no longer applies to you.
In the face of this world’s evil, we stand mightily by our Savior with victorious banner unfurled—
The curse is broken, my Savior is come! I see Jesus and sing: JOY TO THE WORLD! (TLH 87:1 ,3-4)
Do you hear what I hear? Shhh…listen carefully and I think you can.
It is the sound a baby boy crying, just like any newborn son of man.
We all cried as infants, but before this cry a great miracle took place,
God Himself received flesh and blood—became man—to save the human race.
The Son of God born of Mary, one hundred percent true flesh and blood—
A little baby, just like you and me, and still remained also fully true God.
In this baby’s cry we hear the eternal WORD now born under the law
So that He might redeem a world of sinners and buy them back from all their sin and every flaw.
Do you hear the baby crying? His infant sounds will grow in a natural way
Through the cooing, and the giggles, and then His first word on a memorable day.
All the way through a natural childhood this baby would live and grow
Of this we can be certain for the Bible says, though the details we do not know.
Do you hear a young boy speaking, in the temple to his mother?
When she worried, then scolded, He said, “Did you not know I must be about the work of my Father?”
Do you hear a young man preaching with words of authority and might?
Hear Him cast out demons, heal the sick, cure the lame, and to the blind men give sight.
People marveled at Christ’s preaching because it was so different from others they had heard.
The truth of God’s Word is what Jesus’ preached and that is what caused their hearts to be stirred.
The voice of Jesus moved His enemies to hate, and attempt to discredit all of His words,
But they were not able, for He spoke the truth; and those who listened , hailed Him as their Lord!
The baby’s voice you hear crying, would again weep as a man of thirty-three years.
When His close friend, Lazarus of Bethany died Jesus walked to the grave with tears.
Then after the tears: “Lazarus come forth!” Jesus cried with a shout.
That powerful Word of our Savior raised Lazarus from the dead, and living, he came out.
When listening to Jesus’ voice, still greater things you are sure to hear,
For Jesus is your shepherd who gently calls to you and says, “Come near.”
“Come near My dear lamb and listen to my voice, I am the baby who cried,
And I am your dying Lord who declared ‘IT IS FINISHED’ when I was crucified.
“From those first cries in Bethlehem to My dying words upon the cross—all were spoken for you.
I am the Son of God and Son of Man who has done all for your salvation—it is TRUE!
Through My Word, I am calling, speaking to you My precious lamb.
Oh hear, and be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven, and you are led by the great ‘I AM’”
Do you hear what I hear? It is our Shepherd’s voice calling to us, His sheep.
A voice that cries of salvation and promises us in eternal safety to keep.
The Son of God became our brother to lead from sin’s darkness to eternal light,
This was the message first heard from the angels TO SHEPHERDS AS THEY WATCHED BY NIGHT. (TLH 103:1-4)
Do you know what I know? Much of what we know could easily change tomorrow, or even today!
Human knowledge is fleeting, changes with the wind, and then often just blows away.
Some know science and others math, for still others languages are their skill,
Many seek their answers in human wisdom, but find them there, they never will.
True wisdom, and thus, true knowledge is only from above.
True wisdom is established, maintained, and given by the one true God whom we love.
The message of the manger and cross is foolishness to those of the world who are perishing
But to us, it is the power of God and the most precious knowledge we are cherishing.
If it is wonderful knowledge we seek, then to the simple faith of a child let us go,
And hear profound words of wisdom when he says, “Jesus loves me, this I KNOW.”
In a world that prides itself in advancement and new knowledge is always demanding,
A simple faith in what God says is what brings the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Do you know what I know? YES, you do! The knowledge of our Savior God is something we share.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope of our calling, one joy in “baby Jesus” lying there.
But you say, “Doubts arise and I’m unsure at times.” I am too. How can we be sure of what we know?
Oh, dear fellow Christians, when doubts arise we can be confident in the truth “for the Bible tells us so!”
It is certain that the Devil will try to shake from our hearts what we have come to know;
And when—not if, but when—that happens, then to the Scriptures let us go!
Drink deeply from the Gospel as if a worn and thirsty man who drinks from a well
Knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God—not life, not death, nor created thing, not even all the powers of Hell.
Go forth dear Christian secure in the knowledge that God has sent His Son
Who absolutely, positively, has lived, died, lives again, and for you, Heaven has won.
Our greatest hopes, most blessed dreams, our faith, peace, and salvation’s certainty
Are all founded and grounded upon the events that first unfolded ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY.(WS 2000 710)
“Listen to what I say.” Did your child speak these words on Christmas Eve as you came to worship the Lord?
“Mommy…Daddy… listen to what I say. I’ve worked so hard and I want you to hear every word.”
Did you sit and hear the children’s voices as they echoed the Christmas story in word and song?
For at least one hour, did the hardness of the world melt away? Did you forget all that is wrong?
As you listened on Christmas Eve to voices united in Gospel proclamation strong
You saw and heard the children, but it was really God to whom you were listening all along.
“He who hears you, hears Me” said Jesus to His disciples one day,
And so it is God who is speaking when we use His Word with one another along life’s way.
Whether it be pastor, teacher, family member, or Christian friend who speaks God’s Word true,
Know that it is your Lord Himself who through them is bringing HIS message to you.
And YOU do not be afraid to speak and share God’s Word with friend and stranger
Knowing that you are offering GOD’S Word and not your own gives confidence even when in danger.
To us all, young and old, great and small, God says, “Listen to what I say,
Not just in church, but for every part of your life, every minute of every day.
Listen to what I say, and not just the commands of what is right, though these are what you should heed,
But also listen daily to My promises, receive the strength I give, and follow…let ME lead.
“Listen while at your work and when you are at play.
Listen while you are laughing; and when you cry, hear what I have to say.
Listen when you are struggling and also when I grant you days of success.
Keep My word on your lips and in your hearts and you can be sure that I will bless.
“My dear children, listen to My Word for every decision and in every condition which you might see
The joy and peace you have today is not just for Christmas, but a DAILY gift for you—from Me.
Listen to what I say and in My words you’ll hear the promise true
That when you come and speak to Me in prayer, I will listen to you.
“Cast your every care upon Me. I care for you and will surely provide
I will use my power and wisdom, and by My grace keep you safely at my side.”
Dear Jesus , at Your Word, we come this Christmastide with the highest praise and greatest joy there could be
Trusting Your care and offering our prayer, ever so grateful that YOUR LITTLE ONES DEAR LORD ARE WE. Amen. (WS 2000 713)
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.