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St. Nicholas of Myra, Pastor

The devotional reading for the commemoration of St. Nicholas of Myra comes from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions—A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord, 2nd Ed.

Introduction

Though there are many legends and stories surrounding St. Nicholas, today we remember him for his work as a pastor and bishop in the Early Church. According to tradition, Nicholas was thought to be at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. In honor of that councils clear confession on the divinity of Christ, our devotional reading for today focuses on the personal union of Jesus divine and human natures.

Devotional Reading

We believe, teach, and confess that God’s Son from eternity has been a particular, distinct, entire, divine person. Yet He is true, essential, perfect God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time He received also the human nature into the unity of His person. He did not do this in such a way that there are now two persons or two Christs. Christ Jesus is now in one person at the same time true, eternal God, born of the Father from eternity, and a true man, born of the most blessed Virgin Mary. This is written in Romans 9:5, “from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever.”

We believe, teach, and confess that now, in this one undivided person of Christ, there are two distinct natures: the divine, which is from eternity, and the human, which in time was received into the unity of the person of God’s Son. These two natures in the person of Christ are never either separated from or mingled with each other. Nor are they changed into each other. Each one abides in its nature and essence in the person of Christ to all eternity.

We believe, teach, and confess also that both natures mentioned remain unmingled and undestroyed in their nature and essence. Each keeps its natural, essential properties to all eternity and does not lay them aside. Neither do the essential properties of the one nature ever become the essential properties of the other nature. . . .

This is possible for no other man, because no man is united with the divine
nature the way Jesus, the Son of Mary, is. No man is installed in such divine almighty majesty and power through and in the personal union of the two natures in Christ. For in Him the divine and the human nature are personally united with each other. So in Christ “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). In this personal union the two natures have such a grand, intimate, indescribable communion that even the angels are astonished by it. As St. Peter testifies, they have their delight and joy in looking into it [1 Peter 1:12].

Devotional reading is from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions—A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord, 2nd Ed., pages 582–83, 586–87 © 2005, 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hymn for the Day

Oh, that birth forever blessed,
     When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
     Bore the Savior of our race,
And the babe, the world’s Redeemer,
     First revealed His sacred face,
Evermore and evermore.

Hymn text is from Lutheran Service Book 384:2

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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