Pastor's Pen for 05/22/2018An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. (Matthew 2)

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. What does 2019 hold for you? New Year's resolutions? Gym membership? New diet? A budget? 2019 will bring suffering.

Christians suffer. In every age of this sin-filled world. In the world you will have tribulation. (John 16)

After Jesus is born, Herod wants Jesus dead. The shadow of the Cross is already looming before Jesus. The Angel is sent to Joseph to announce that they are to flee to Egypt. Christ’s CROSS will have to wait until Good Friday’s Tree of Calvary.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified… And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die... (John 12)

Herod is in a rage that he has been fooled. He will not allow another king to threaten his little kingdom. The soldiers are given the order to swing the sword. (Herod was) furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under. (Matthew 2)

The Herods of this world are filled with rage against Christ. They continue to make war against the Church. The soldiers are sent out marching to bring death. It looks much like a (Planned Parenthood) clinic that brings death to little babies. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10)

Little Herods today bringing death. A culture of death in America. Some see death as a solution rather than sin. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Prov. 6)

The Church will suffer for confessing the Truth of Jesus Christ. You will suffer for standing for life. In Christ is life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1) Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31) The little baby in the womb cannot speak. There is a silent cry for help.

Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10)

Standing for life. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10)

What will 2019 bring? God's Word preached into your ears and hearts bringing life everlasting. Live in and from the Waters of Life from Holy Baptism. Come to feast on Christ in the Lord's Supper. Christ the Bread of Life. This NEW YEAR – the Lord has gifts that REIGN ETERANAL FOR YOU TO LIVE IN BY FAITH.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself. (2 Corinthians 5)