Eurasia Blog Wednesday Devotion: “Yahweh of Hosts is with Us”

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

(Psalm 46:4-11 ESV)

Epiphany, Unknown Artist

Epiphany, Unknown Artist

Christmas is now truly over. Yesterday, the season of Epiphany began. Many Christians will now be taking down their Christmas decorations: the trees, garland, ornaments, and creches (myself included). It’s time to pack it all up until next year. Of course, much of the secular world moved on a while ago. Probably many on the Friday after Christmas. The decorations were put away there, too, before the 12 days of Christmas were even over. The high of the season was over. Time to get back to work, clean up the mess, maybe make a few returns and exchanges.

And so we pack it in. And maybe, we even pack Jesus away a bit. At the very least, the world packs Him away. It’s all well and good that this Baby came. That’s nice. But what does it mean going forward? Since so much of the world tries to leave Him out of His own Feast Day, it’s easy for them to move on just as before. In their minds, nothing has changed. Sure, they may have received some nice gifts, but that’s about it. For Christians, it’s easy to get caught up in the packing away and cease to reflect on just what comes next. But without what comes next, we cannot comprehend the Christ Child and why He came.

So Epiphany begins to remind us, indeed to proclaim and reveal to us, that the Child Who came at Christmas is truly the very Son of God. Epiphany reveals to us Who that Child is and why He came. During Epiphany, God reveals Himself to us in Christ so that Jesus may be recognized by all the world as the Son of God, Savior. Epiphany reveals to us that God is in the midst of His Kingdom, His city. And His Kingdom reigns among us.

God in our midst does not end with the Child in the Manger, but begins there. It brings peace in war, protection in danger, silence to the raging of the nations. God doesn’t pack it in; He unpacks and settles in to save us. Over the coming season of Epiphany, God in Christ unpacks more and more of Himself as He reveals Who He is, and what He has come to do for us. Surely, Yahweh of Hosts is with us. Always.

Lord Jesus Christ, You have revealed Yourself to us as the gracious Savior Who comes to reveal Yourself to us; continue to dwell among us in Word and Sacrament so that we may ever recognize You and so that You may be recognized by all people, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

  • Read last year’s Epiphany Devotion.
  • Watch this video about Epiphany from Concordia Publishing House.

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