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Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church - The Bronx, New York.  A Parish of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod where “God’s People Pray.”

The Rev. Dr. Dien Ashley Taylor, Pastor

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Moved from Fear to Joy: A Christmas Gift that Keeps GivingChristMass—A Time to Look Forward

 

Just like Advent, Christmas is a time to look forward.  As Christians, we do this by looking backward to see how our Lord has fulfilled His promises to us and that motivates us to look forward to promises still to come.  That looking gives inspires hope for the present day.  The events of Christmas direct us to look forward.  William C. Dix helps us to do this with the hymn, “What Child Is This.”

 

What child is this, who, laid to rest,

    On Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet

    While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the king,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

    Haste, haste to bring Him laud,

    The babe, the son of Mary!

Clearly, we are called to see that the child born of Mary is Christ the King.

Angels greet Him.  Shepherds meet Him.  We look forward to worshiping

Him now and forever.  But why?  Look forward and see.  He has come in

humility to save the lowly, to rescue sinners from death.  We are in awe and

holy fear as He comes since this baby has come to change the world.

 

Why lies He in such mean estate

    Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear; for sinners here

    The silent Word is pleading.

This Jesus is pleading even as an infant in the same way that His

body was pleading silently on the cross for us and for our salvation.  It is that

suffering and death that makes us look forward from His birth to His death

and resurrection through which He brings us life through His grace.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,

The cross be borne for me, for you;

    Hail, hail the Word made flesh,

    The babe, the son of Mary!

As the Word made flesh, His actions are words that speak loudly, calling us to look beyond the manger to the cross and beyond the tomb to rooms our Lord has prepared for us when He returns in glory to judge the living and the dead.  Here in the divine infant we see the God-Man who radically changes our fate and embodies every promise of the Father.  Christ Jesus is God’s “Yes” to us.

 

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;

    Come, peasant, king, to own Him.

The King of kings salvation brings;

    Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

This happens at every Eucharist.  God’s people are gifted by the Holy Spirit.

They respond by bringing their offerings and sharing those offerings as “loving

hearts enthrone Him,” crying out, “we lift them to the Lord.”  They do so by

looking backward to look forward.  Even the gifts He was brought as a child

call us to look ahead to His future—incense for the priest who himself is the

perfect sacrifice, gold for a king who rules the cosmos and myrrh for the

prophet’s atoning death for us.

Raise, raise the song on high,

The virgin sings her lullaby;

    Joy, joy, for Christ is born,

    The babe, the son of Mary!

As the Virgin is the icon of the Church, we sing that lullaby, not because we are trying to put Him to sleep but because “He gives to His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).  Rest is coming, not only daily but rest from our labors as He has come to make us saints.  Not only is rest coming; joy is coming.  Alleluia!  Christ is born.  Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ is coming again.  In this baby that is born whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, we look forward to all He has in store for us as we do at every Mass…hence, even the name of the season stirs us to look forward—ChristMass—making every Eucharist all about the One who bids us to look forward to the life He has in store for us.

 

May the season of ChristMass call you to look forward to all that is coming as our earthly Advent continues in earnest.

 

Peace, joy and love,

Pastor

 

Worship Services

Saturday Liturgy: 7PM

Sunday Liturgies: 8AM & 11AM

Wednesday Liturgy: 7:30PM

 

Anointing with Oil for Healing: Once a month as indicated in the calendar.

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A Brief History

By the mercy of Almighty God, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, New York, was founded in 1928.

 

Members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yonkers who lived in the Wakefield section of the Bronx in...

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Contact us

Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church

4360 Rev. Theodore Wittrock Crossing

(Boyd and Barnes Avenues)

The Bronx, NY 10466-1804

Phone: 718.324.1288  -  Fax: 718.324.2056

 

Email: office@redeemerlutheranbronx.org

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