1. Lutheran pastors have at least three sermons in these three days. The calendar allows preachers to wed together some important themes this Christmas. The Magnificat (conception), the birth account from Matthew 1, and the fuller account of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 give clear shape to the proclamation for the Feast of the Nativity. The Epistle readings, however, should also be considered as the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the nativity.
  2. We enter into the brief respite of the penitential season of Advent with the call “Gaudate!” The theme of rejoicing appears beautifully in our Epistle and in the Old Testament from Zephaniah.
  3. The Epistle aligns perfectly with the Advent proclamation of Christ’s coming (Mal. 3:2). God Himself is making ready the church for “the day of Jesus Christ” (1:6); He will make them “blameless for the day of Christ” (1:10).
  4. Advent is the church’s entrance once again into the holy rhythm of Christ’s life. The bride who longed to see her Bridegroom come in glory, now longs anew to see Him come in humility, gently, even swaddled up in a manger.