Devotional article for The Greybull Standard

and The Republican Rustler

Not for all people only

"Fear not!", the angel said to the shepherds, "For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."

The joy at the birth of the Saviour is to be for all people. For the Son of God has come for the salvation of all. He has come to restore all God's lost and beloved children to the life we were meant to have with God in His glory, and from which we have fallen with our disobedience and disregard for God.

For this the eternal Son of God Himself has come to us. The Saviour is Christ the Lord; in other words: the Christ, that is: the anointed Saviour God had promised and now has sent, He is the Lord, the eternal Son of God who is God Himself from eternity. For only He could bring to completion for us what is God's will for us, and win us sinners again for His Kingdom and His eternal life.

Only He could live the life for us that we owe it to God to live. And He has come to do that, to live a life of full and complete trust in God, and love, and submission to His will, and to do it for us, so that all that we owe to God has, in fact, been given to Him, and there is nothing lacking.

And only the death of the Holy One of God could make up for the evil and injustice that our sin is against God, our disobedience toward His Word and will, and our disregard for His love. And He has come to die for us, and pay the price and penalty for our evil and ungodliness, so that all is accounted for, and nothing prohibits us from the Kingdom of God, and His heavenly life.

He has come for the salvation of all people. And as such, the joy of His coming is for all people. By virtue of His work in the world, all sinners are entitled and invited to belong to Him and be part of His Church and His royal and priestly people.

For He who came into the world, He is still in the world. Through His living Word of love He speaks His promise to us sinners of full and complete forgiveness for sins, of His Kingdom and His heavenly life. And He calls us into a life in His love, in the Word and worship of His salvation. He calls us into a life in which He will be with us, always, and assure us of His love, and give Himself to us, with all that He is, and with all that is His, and live in us Himself, with His love and His life.

The joy of His coming is not for all people only, for a few days a year; rather, the joy of His coming is for all of us through all of our life, and beyond. For His promise is that nothing can separate us from the life we have in Him, not even death. He is with us to see us through the sufferings and sorrows of this life, and through death, so as to secure us for His Kingdom and His heavenly life. And the heavenly life He has won for us all, and promises and offers to us all, is eternal life, that is: it is life in its fullness, without end and without restrictions or limitations. And it is given to us, freely and for nothing, with His promise, out of His goodness and mercy, to those who will hear His promise, and take it to heart.

Our Christmas celebrations do indeed remind us of this great joy. But the joy should not be limited to our Christmas celebrations. For it is joy for all of life; it is the joy of eternal life.

Merry Christmas.

Pastor Jais H. Tinglund

Grace Lutheran Church, Greybull/Zion Lutheran Church, Emblem