Summary: “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us--yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.”
Sun, Dec 30, 2007 First Sun. after. Christmas
Invocation: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
At the beginning of our Old Testament reading for today, the prophet Isaiah wrote: Isaiah 63:7 (quickview)  “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us--yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.”
Then Isaiah enumerates God’s good deeds. God has called Israel to be his people. He has become the Savior of Israel, since he has claimed them as his own. When his people were distressed, God was distressed. When they were in trouble, God sent the angel of his presence to save them. God broughtt them back from slavery in Egypt. In compassion and kindness he lifted them up and carried them through all the days of old. He would not do otherwise, for God had made the people of Israel his children.
What was true of Israel in her past, is true of Israel in her present. We, the Church of Jesus Christ, are God’s Israel. All these acts of kindness, God has done and continues to do for us. In his compassion and kindness God has called us to be his people. He has become our Savior, and he has claimed us as his own. When we are distressed, God is distressed right along with us. When we are in trouble, God sends the angel of his presence to save us. We, too, are Children of the Heavenly Father.
Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. :
Almost from the very beginning, Adam and Eve rebelled against God. They were disobedient and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Throughout all history, God’s people have been no different. In Egypt, Moses killed a man and fled to avoid punishment. Once delivered from the Egyptians and across the Red Sea, Israel molded idols from their jewelry and bowed down to the golden calf. All through the desert Moses dealt with rebellion and sin. And so it is in our day as well.
. From the very beginning of our lives, we rebel against God. We cannot reach the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, yet in sin we strive to do so. We reach out for idols of our own making, trying desperately to find something to lead us into salvation of our own making. This is true of us all.
You and I, even though we are God’s children, we rebel and grieve the Holy Spirit.
. As sinners, we bring the wrath of God upon us, body and soul. Every time we sin, we make God our enemy. Because God hates sin.
God hates sin because he knows as well as we do where these sins will lead us if left unchecked. Sin is separation from God. In Romans, chapter 6, God tells us, Romans 6:23 (quickview) a . . . the wages of sin is death. God does not want his children, those who bear his image, to die.