Thursday, December 27

Whoever has the Son has life.

Candle Lighter:He has given us eternal life,…”
Response: “…and this life is in his Son.

Scripture: I John 5:6-13

6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7 So we have these three witnesses— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10 All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.

Reader: The word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
We live in an age where people want proof as to the truth of something. When a person makes a statement, there must be corroborating evidence that validates the claim. There must be independent witnesses verifying the truthfulness of the fact. In Deuteronomy 17:6, Moses states that there must be two or three witnesses to verify any charge or claim. That is the biblical model. A charge or claim may not be upheld if there is only one witness or no witnesses. Since our attention has been focused on the birth of the Son of God and all that that means, the deity of Jesus is central. In the first decades following the resurrection, and even during Jesus’ own time on earth, there was the recurring question, “Is Jesus truly God?” How do we know besides what he says about himself? In the above passage, the three witnesses as to the claim of Christ, were his baptism in water, his shed blood, and the Holy Spirit. How were these “witnesses?” John also writes that the testimony is from God. Where does that play out? You’ll recall at Jesus’ baptism a voice came from heaven saying,”You are my dearly beloved Son, and you bring me great joy.” (Lk.3:22) God the Father validated the authenticity of his Son. In the same event John writes that he saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descend and settle on Jesus at the baptism (John 1:32-34). At the crucifixion of Jesus and the shedding of His blood for the sins of the world, God the Father again validated the efficaciousness of the sacrifice by tearing the curtain in the Temple from top to bottom. And so, in accordance with Old Testament law and jurisprudence practice, the identity of Jesus is firmly established. John goes on to write to reject these witnesses is to call God a liar. Nevertheless, there are many today that reject eyewitness testimony, even the testimony of God himself! The sad thing is, I have a neighbor who rejects God and tells me Christianity is all fantasy. I’d appreciate prayers for him to be willing to see the truth. The best part follows in the last section. God gives us his word regarding eternal life for all who put their trust in his Son. In a world of uncertainty as this year draws to a close, every follower of Christ can know the certainty of eternal life. May you be a witness of the truth this day as you go about your business.

Music: ““O Magnum Mysterium”    Morten Lauridsen commentary (do NOT miss this)   Composer talks about how he composed this piece

“O Magnum Mysterium”     Los Angeles Master Chorale,   Paul Salamunovich

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

English translation…
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God and Savior, Holy Spirit our Teacher and Witness, and God, our Father in heaven, how was it that common animals witnessed the birth of your Holy Son who was placed in their feeding trough while humble shepherds were your first human visitors? The beauty, the wonder, the mystery, the awe-filled setting is not what anyone would have guessed. But then, your ways are not our ways. Your ways are much more interesting and beautiful. There is something so attractive about the humility and simplicity of your entrance into this world. It is so clear that you love all of your creation, not just the people! Your angels sang for a small band of herdsmen upon your arrival the first time. Apparently your angels will be singing and blowing the trumpet when you return. What a glorious day that will be. Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to earth and for loving us. We love you with all our heart. In Your name we pray, amen.
Daniel Sharp

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