But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son to be born of a woman, so that he would be born under the law, in order to redeem those under the law, so that we would be adopted as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 EHV)
“What?!? Why are you using a Christmas passage? Is this some sort of ‘Christmas in July’ type of deal?” Well, sort of; but there is a reason behind choosing this passage for our devotion today. We are in the middle of our Vacation Bible School this week. Our theme is, “Miraculous Mission” and we are talking about God’s mission of saving us. Today, the middle lesson of our VBS, we talked about Christmas, which obviously, is the beginning of God fulfilling his promise to Adam and Eve, Abraham, and many others to send a Savior.
For 2000 years the descendants of Abraham waited for the Lord to bless all people of the world through Abraham. And when the time was just right, God sent his Son in the world. Jesus—true God and true man—he had to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin so that he could save us. So the eternal Lord, God Almighty, who created the entire world by his voice and controls every aspect of his creation, humbled himself to be born as one of us. Even though we are sinners, God sent his Son into the world. Even though we are his enemies by nature, Jesus gave up the glories and riches of heaven and humbled himself to the point of death—even death on a cross, so that we might enjoy the glories and riches of heaven with him forever. That is how much the Lord loves us—it is nothing but pure grace!
Jesus came to redeem us—that is, to buy us back, not with gold or silver but with his holy precious blood, and innocent suffering and death. By his sacrifice on the cross he paid for all our sins and brought us back into a right relationship with our Father. And as a result, we are adopted as sons. Through faith in Christ, we are children of God, and spiritual descendants of Abraham. As sons of God we are his heirs—and co-heirs with Christ who will inherit his gift of salvation. For at this time it was sons who received an inheritance from their parents (daughters received an inheritance through their husbands); making us all sons of God, and thus heirs of God.
Every year you hear and see multiple businesses celebrating, “Christmas in July.” This of course, it simply an excuse to have a sale and drum up some business for themselves—that is not our purpose today! Admittedly, it is a bit strange to talk about Christmas in July. And yet it is good and appropriate to do so. We don’t want to think about Christ’s birth and the reasons for us simply in December, but it is a good to remember his love and mercy for us year-round. It certain is a miraculous mission—God become man to save us from our sins!
Pastor Andrew Frey
Summer Sunday Bible Study
We have started our new Summer family type Bible Study which is being held on all non-Communion Sundays this Summer. The study is entitled, “The ABC’s of Worship — Lutheran Customs and Practices.” Our next classes will be August 11th and 18th starting around 9:00 am. The classes have been well attended and many good questions have been asked and answered. Even if you have missed the first lessons, you can still join us. If you would like one of the study booklets, please talk to one of the Pastors
Our VBS children will be singing a hymn this Sunday during our 10:00 am service. We pray that many of those who attended our VBS this year will be able to join us. Also, in between services we will enjoy some VBS fellowship. Please join us in the basement for refreshments, a perusal of the crafts, see the stories that the children learned about, watch a slide-show of pictures from our VBS, and hear another song that our children learned this week. Please plan on coming!
Save the date! The church picnic will be on Sunday, August 18 at Plamann Park. Plan to join us for food, fun and fellowship. There will be games for the kids and adults. Please sign up on the sheet in the back of church and plan on joining us for an afternoon of fun and fellowship.
The EHV Bibles are here; they are on a table in the entryway. The cost of each Bible is $18. If you ordered a Bible, you may pick it up and pay for it before or after each worship service. A member will be available to assist you and receive your payment.