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DEAREST JESUS, HOLY CHILD
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song,
Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given
While angels sing with pious mirth.
A glad new year to all the earth.
SOURCE: Martin Luther
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THERE WAS A CHURCH GROWING SO FAST IT RAN OUT OF PARKING SPACE. THEY WENT ACROSS THE STREET TO A SUPER-MARKET THAT WAS CLOSED ON SUNDAYS AND MADE A DEAL WITH THE OWNER OF THE SUPERMARKET TO USE THEIR PARKING LOT. THE OWNER OF THE SUPERMARKET SAID, "YOU CAN USE THE PARKING LOT 51 SUNDAYS OUT OF THE YEAR, BUT ON THE 52ND SUNDAY, I’M GOING TO CHAIN IT OFF." THE CHURCH PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED, "WHY? WE DON’T UNDERSTAND. WHY WOULD YOU LET US USE IN 51 TIME A YEAR AND CHAIN IT OFF THE 52ND?" THE STORE MANAGER REPLIED, "BECAUSE I NEVER WANT YOU TO FORGET THAT THE PARKING LOT BELONGS TO THE GROCERY STORE, NOT THE CHURCH."
GOD’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Apostle’s Creed is not a pledge of allegiance, which we speak before God. We are remembering the gospel. We are remembering God’s pledge to us. The Creeds are nothing different from the 23rd Psalm. They simply explain how our Good Shepherd has ‘restored my soul,’ ‘how he comforts me,’ ‘spreads a table before me,’ and ‘makes my cup overflow.’ The Creeds are there for our comfort, describing how God has achieved that which was impossible for us.
“But whom do you mean by one that is perfect? We mean the one in whom is the mind which was in Christ, and who so walks as Christ also walked; a man that has clean hands and a pure heart, or that is cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; one in whom is no occasion of stumbling, and who accordingly does not commit sin. To declare this a little more particularly: We understand by that scriptural expression, a perfect man, one in whom God has fulfilled his faithful word, from al your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. I will also save you from all your uncleanness. We understand hereby one whom God has sanctified throughout, in body, soul and spirit; one who walks in the light as he is in the light, in whom is no darkness at...