I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
December 15, 2012
Greetings in the name and for the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ!
It is my privilege to write to you on behalf of the CLC Board of Missions as we look back on a year of God’s abundant blessings and rejoice in the blessing that He has in store for us in the New Year as we work together, shoulder to shoulder, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!
No Glitter, Bows, or Decorations for our Savior on the First Christmas
Every time I read Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, I marvel at the details he chooses to emphasize surrounding God’s coming into the world as a baby.  I am awe-struck by the way Luke juxtaposes the announcement of the King of Israel—“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord”— with the sign of this king’s kingship, “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12).
The King of Kings was born in a lowly, dirty manger, kept in a feed trough for animals, and the King’s royal vestments will be woven cloth strips. Luke’s narrative highlights what seem to be the most ordinary and the most mundane details of Jesus’s birth. And yet, these seemingly ordinary details highlight how God communicates the glory in the birth of His son, Jesus.
Out of the silence of 400 years, out of the silence of that quiet night, the angel spoke and announced what the people had all hoped for: He is here, Luke tells us, born in the same city as your great king of old, King David!  The people now would look upon the new David, their new deliverer,
Out of the silent sky came the news that surpassed all news. The king had come and the world would never be the same again, for a king had been born this day in the city of David–Christ the Lord! Not only does God choose a manger for a palace, but God chooses to reveal this glorious news to the least likely recipients.
We might expect that the birth of Israel’s king would be heralded throughout the nation to the most influential members of that society: the priests, the rulers, and the leaders of the people. But in fact, only a few people actually hear about it. The coming of Jesus, the Messiah, is but a whisper into the ears of a few select individuals.
The announcement first comes to an unmarried young girl, who would bear the baby. The announcement also comes to shepherds—the least influential folks in that society—out in the fields, far from their towns and villages, tending to the sheep. The glory of Israel is revealed to those most would deem inglorious. The heavenly announcement is made only to a group of poor, unnoticed shepherds.
Unveiling the glory of God through humble means and ordinary details is a point that we don’t to miss!
The Almighty God, who created heaven and earth, who created the shepherds and the animals, who created Mary and Joseph, and you and me was the same God who chose to reveal His Glory in human flesh as the baby Jesus. Humility reveals the glory of God! Humility demonstrates God’s greatness and glory, is the hallmark of Jesus’s Kingdom.
The birth of Jesus is all about promises kept. His birth proved His very own words: “For God so loved the world that God gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
In a world that confuses glory with glitter, glamour with power and prestige, God would have us rejoice as we see God’s glory revealed in this seemingly inglorious package—cradled in a feed-trough, presented to peasants, and announced to shepherds?
We celebrate the birth of our Savior because there is nothing we’d rather do than revel and rejoice in the good news of great joy that is for all the people. We celebrate the birth of the One who according to Philippians 2:8
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
I pray that the Lord will bless you all with Christmas celebrations that are focused on our Savior Jesus Christ and the Joy and Peace that is made possible only through His perfect life, sacrificial death on the cross, resurrection from the dead, and His on-going work in our hearts through the work of His Holy Spirit in Word and Sacraments.
On behalf of your brothers and fellow servants of the Savior of the CLC Board of Missions,
Pastor Todd Ohlmann, chairman