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Devotion - December 20, 2012
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
Isn't Christmas supposed to be joyful? Why such talk about dark, abysmal depths? Without those depths, Christmas joy remains shallow and superficial, like shimmering tinsel that's thrown out with the tree.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, because I am a sinner. I cannot climb out. Even my best efforts sink me deeper into the muck. My loftiest works are weighed down by my self-centered concerns. My highest thoughts fall far short of perfect love. Anything that promises to boost me up (family, friends, money, entertainment, excitement, success, power, fame, work, recreation) sooner or later collapses. How foolish of me for leaning on such things instead of on you, O Lord!
Hear my cry for mercy. Look on me in pity. For I am helpless without you. The record of my sins is too long to list. I cannot stand before your judgment. My sin condemns me.
But with you there is forgiveness. For you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior. He came down into my depths, born a child. He became my sin. He died my death. His flawless record counts for me, because he rose from the dead. He lifts me out of the pit. He brings me new life. Through faith in him I stand before you, O Lord, without terror or dread. For with you there is forgiveness – full and free forgiveness in Jesus.
Dear friend, peer into the manger with me. What joy! There lies your Savior. He, who is God over all, came into this world in such a lowly way to lift you out of the depths. His blood wipes your record clean. Through faith in Jesus stand before God with that joyful, childlike fear, that reverent awe, which eagerly obeys our Lord, amazed that he gave his Son to bring us forgiveness.
(Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal - 34):
Come from on high to me: I cannot rise to thee.
Cheer my wearied spirit, O pure and holy Child;
Through thy grace and merit, blest Jesus, Lord most mild,
Draw me unto thee! Draw me unto thee!
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
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