Sprouting Salvation

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
   my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
   he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
   and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
   and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
   to sprout up before all the nations. (Is. 61:10-11)

Chistmas is over; all the presents are open.  New Years has passed; all the resolutions are made, and will soon be broken.  But today, we are on the second Sunday after Christmas.  About two weeks ago we rejoiced that God’s promise of a Savior had been fulfilled in the Babe of Bethlehem.  In Advent our prayer was that God would rain down righteousness and spring up salvation, and that prayer was answered.

It was answered when a lowly virgin was told that, by the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit, she would bear in her womb the Son of God.  It was answered in an unassuming baby lying in a manger.  Today the Child has grown in strength, and went about His Father’s house, the temple.  Nothing about Him looked wonderful, nothing that we would desire Him, but His wisdom astounds the teachers.

The salvation that God causes to spring up is always springing up, and it springs up in ways we never expect.  From a virgin.  From a manger.  From a 12 year old boy.  From a beaten man on a cross.  From simple water.  From a sinful man who speaks the forgiveness of sins to other sinners.  From lowly bread and wine.

In baptism you have received the robe of righteousness the garments of salvation.  There you received the benefits of when Christ Jesus wore the garment of a purple robe, when he wore the true bridegroom’s diadem – the crown of thorns.  He died, looking like any other criminal, but when he sprung forth from the tomb he had power and might.  Today he sprung into your ears with, "I forgive all of your sins."  He placed into your mouth His body and blood to preserve your body and soul from sin, death, and the devil.  He does it all unassumingly, humbly and it causes our praise to sprout up as a light to the Gentiles and the glory His people Israel.

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