And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 8:15, ESV.
The sun sets over Hartman Creek forming silhouettes of the trees.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
— Psalm 113:3-4, ESV.
Sun beams peer through the trees at Hartman Creek State Park. This area of the park is a good place to contemplate. God creates amazing beauty for even the poorest of us.
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people…
Praise the Lord!
— Psalm 113:5-9, ESV.
Christ always received worship and adoration from the angels, for He always was God. Now they are adoring Him also as man.
— Blessed Theodoret,
Book of Concord, Catalog of Testimonies (632).
That the nature received from us is a participant in the same honor of Him who received it and that no difference in worship appears, but the divinity which is not seen is worshiped through the nature which is seen—this surpasses every miracle.
— Blessed Theodoret,
Book of Concord, Catalog of Testimonies (629).
And God said,
This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:
I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
— Genesis 8:12-16, ESV.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
— Nahum 1:3, ESV.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty…
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
— Psalm 29:3-4, 10-11, ESV.
And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.
— 1 Kings 19:11, ESV.
The Lord is everywhere, in the wind, in the flame, in the wild and powerful things. But he is in only particular places for us: in a gracious word, in bread, in wine, in body, in blood, in a baby in Bethlehem, on the cross. We could never withstand the whirlwind if Christ had not come in the flesh for us.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
— Psalm 107:29, ESV.
[Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
— Mark 4:39-41, ESV.
He took our bad, and replaced it with his good. This Friday is good.
How blest shall be, Eternally
Who oft in faith will ponder
Why the glorious Prince of life
Should be buried yonder.
O Jesus blest, My Help and Rest,
With tears I now entreat you:
Make me love you to the last
Till in heaven I greet you.
— “Oh, Darkest Woe,” CW 137:4-5.
The colors and light in the photograph are soft and heavenly because the harsh cross that Christ endured is the way to heaven. Good Friday is the way to Resurrection Sunday.
“It is finished!”
“This is my body.”
“This is my blood.”
Praise the Father, who from heaven
Unto us such food has given
And, to mend what we have done,
Gave into death his only Son.
Then hold fast with faith unshaken
That this food is to be taken
By the souls who are distressed,
By hearts that long for peace and rest.
If your heart this truth professes
And your mouth your sin confesses,
Surely you will be his guest
And at his banquet ever blest.
— “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior,” CW 313:7-8.
He is the word made flesh given to us.
They spread their cloaks and palm branches on the road, and shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus, the King of All, entered Jerusalem. He fulfilled the word of the prophet that said, “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey,” (Zechariah 9:9, ESV).
Hosanna, loud hosanna,
The little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple
The lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them,
Close folded to his breast,
the children sang their praises,
The simplest and the best.
— “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna,” CW 130:1.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Please pray for the Christians murdered in Egypt today.
Happy New Year and Merry Eighth Day of Christmas.
Almighty and ever-living God, You make us both to will and to do those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight. Let Your fatherly hand ever guide us and Your Holy Spirit ever be with us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word that we may obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
— “For divine guidance” prayer, LSB, 310.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17, ESV).