"This is the day the LORD hath made let us rejoice and be glad in it." Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Eph. 1:3-18 John 1:18 Psalm 147:12-20        What an amazing beginning: a New Year! With a mixture of apprehension and anticipation we have awaited this unique marker in time. The whole world has watched with eagerness as we entered this new year after the birth of Christ.      Today we are invited one more time to pause and reflect on the wonder and majesty that is Christmas. "The Word became flesh and lived among us," as John writes. The ancient teachers of the Church said God became a human being in order that we might become divine. Salvation is ours because God has looked down on us in love and sent the only begotten Son to be for us what we cannot be on our own. By entering the world, God makes us beloved children once more, reconciled through Jesus, forming us into one family in Christ.      God quietly slips into the world. But the world cannot see what has happened. The world cannot recognize the child born in Bethlehem's manger as the Light of God's eternal salvation at work for each of us. The world does not know this child because the powers of evil can revel only in the shadows of sin and despair. The cross stands as witness to the fact that God was and is rejected.      The world's unrelenting rejection and God's unremitting grace finally touch each other in the Christ Child. The Light of God has come among us, and our tears are turned to laughter and our  mourning into dancing. The world may not know Him, but we who dwell in the community of Christ certainly do. By our baptismal grace, we come to break bread today and pour wine, practicing and promises of God, making present the holiness of heaven, ushering in peace for all people of the earth.                                                                                       Christian friends,  Today God fills us with grace and truth. In the midst of a world that does not recognize its God, we shall bear witness to the Light who has come into the world.  You are called with a holy calling The light of the world to be; To lift up the lamp of the gospel That others the light might see.   PRAY with me--O God, our Maker and Redeemer, who wonderfully created us and in the incarnatin of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature, grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; though Jesus Christ, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen        Yesterday's devotion had a mistake.  I was tired and wrote the thought wrong. I wrote that "He lets us decide whether to follow Him or reject Him.   If you Check the explanation to Luther's Third Article in your Catechism: "I believe that I cannot by my own thinking or choosing believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts....."   A Pastor friend caught the mistake. I'm sorry I mislead you. Thanks Pastor