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December 23, 2016, 8:38 AM

This Christmas: All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go!

The commentary that I follow for preaching Luke translates what we usually know as "swaddling cloths" as "clothing bands." This was an unsual phrase to my mind! Curious why the author chose those words, I read deeper into the commentary. Essentially, he is trying to indicate that these "cloths" were a poor woman's swaddling cloths. These are bands of some fabric, not even close to a Babies'R'Us triple package for comfort and warmth. I jest. More chronologically, not even close (probably) to the dressing Moses received by Pharoah's daughter when he was pulled from the Nile River. Not even close (probably) to the dressing David and Solomon's babies received during the height of their God-granted power in Jerusalem.

The commentary goes on to note how humble clothing for Jesus bookends the Gospel of Luke--I cannot take credit for this insight--the second "dressing" of Jesus is in burial cloth, it notes; for a borrowed tomb, after He is crucified, after the seemingly worst thing possible ever has happened to Him. The Roman war machine had done the bidding of corrupt religious leaders (who should have known better) and two-bit puppet kings (who, by all accounts, never did know any better); they had done everything earthly possible to clothe Jesus in ridicule, lonlieness, and pain. 

Yet I will be adding a third "dressing" of Jesus for this blog and in the sermons, that of Revelation, Chapter 1, beginning at verse 12:

"Then I (John) turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow.

His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.

In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword,

and his face ws like the sun shining at full strength."

I will not go into detail like I will in the sermon(s) about what these images mean, if one carefully unpacks the Revelation to St. John. 

But I will ask you this: Don't we know in Colorado what it's like when the sun is "shining at full strength"? And when something is as white as snow? Don't we know those two things very well?

They are calling for snow this weekend--a white Christmas. As you go about getting ready for the holiday and see the bit of snow left over from last week's snow storm, and if that snow is added to by God's gracious and providential Hand, think of these verses in Revelation! Think of how the snow blankets the earth and how the clothing bands of a poor virgin were, at one moment in time, all that covered the Prince of Peace. On the day of His arrival. 

Not how a Prince usually enters a scene! But, indeed, how our Prince entered, with His mind set firmly on salvation (Luke 9:51).... Salvation for us. 

How are you dressed today? Are you all dressed up with nowhere to go? Then know this! God has put on a spiritual dressing over all mankind, called Christ the Lord if you will accept it, and now he welcomes you to the Feast with those garments on your person. They cover the old, the sinful, the dirty, the sullen... the prodigal: 

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

[T]he father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate!" (Luke 15:20, 22-23)

Grace. This Christmas--NOW--you and I are all dressed up with somewhere to go! 

In Him,

Pastor Dieterichs



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