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First Sunday after Christmas

We focus on the Epistle today and read a devotion from Concordia Commentary: Colossians.

Scripture Readings

Exodus 13:1–3a, 11–15
Psalm 111
Colossians 3:12–17
Luke 2:22–40

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

Since we have been raised to things above in our Baptism, we are able to set our minds on things above by living an upright life. Since we have died to sin with Christ in Baptism, we are able to put to death those deeds that characterize life in this fallen and corrupt world. Since we have put off the corruption of sinfulness in Baptism, we are able to put off the deeds of the old sinful existence and to put on the deeds of the new, holy existence, and the peace of Christ prevails in our hearts. Since the image of God has been restored to us in Baptism, we are able to put on the deeds that characterize the divine image. Having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we are able to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus. Hence, the good that we do is done “in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18), into whom we have been baptized.

Since Baptism makes us partakers in Christ’s redemptive work of suffering, death, and resurrection, it also makes us partakers of Christ’s sufferings as a part of our ongoing life of faith and devotion. Having been crucified with Christ to receive his forgiveness and salvation, we consequently also suffer with Christ and know the fellowship of his sufferings in being conformed to his death. Furthermore, since we have been raised from the dead with Christ in Baptism, this gives us strength and power to bear these sufferings, which are part and parcel of our journey toward the life to come. Suffering with Christ means bearing those things that are imposed upon us on account of our Christian faith, our Christian way of life, and our mission in Christ’s Gospel.

All of this demonstrates that Baptism is determinative for the Christian life, for Baptism has ongoing significance for the life of the believer and the church. Throughout this letter, Paul directs his readers to the meaning of their Baptism. The Christian faith and life, therefore, is one of living in one’s Baptism and living out the implications of it.

Devotional reading is adapted from Concordia Commentary: Colossians, pages 163–64 © 2003 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Video is of “Let All Together Praise Our God” © 2018 Concordia Publishing House.

 

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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