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Friday, December 24, 2004

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2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Luke 1:67-79

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special delivery

"Rid of fear and delivered from the enemy, we should serve Him devoutly." —Luke 1:74-75

A Babe is about to be delivered. His delivery room will be a stable in a cave in one of the lowliest villages around (Lk 2:7ff).  From His infancy, this Baby is relentlessly pursued by enemies. As an Infant, He is hurried out of the country in the middle of the night to evade vicious enemies who try to kill Him (Mt 2:13ff). When He returns to His nation as a little boy, He still cannot find rest from His enemies, but must relocate far to the north (Mt 2:22ff). When He becomes a man, His hometown folk attempt to kill Him (Lk 4:28ff). The most powerful religious and civil leaders become His bitter enemies. On several occasions during the next few years, His enemies attempt to arrest and stone Him. He evades them for a time, but finally a close friend betrays Him (Mt 26:47ff). He is finally delivered into the hands of His enemies. Now seemingly the entire nation becomes His enemies, screaming "Crucify Him!" (Mt 27:22) Hanging on a cross, surrounded by enemies (Ps 22:13ff), Jesus dies in place of His enemies, forgiving (Lk 23:34), saving, and loving them (Mt 5:44).

How amazing that this Baby, Who never found rest from His enemies, has promised us "salvation from our enemies" (Lk 1:71). He will grant us what He never had: rest from enemies (see 2 Sm 7:9, 11). This "Deliverer" (Ps 18:3) especially delivers us from Satan, our arch-enemy (Lk 1:71, 74; Col 1:13, RNAB).

Jesus is coming! May we be delivered from "holiday" distractions and stand with those who welcome Him to our world.

Prayer:  Father, through my love for Jesus, may many people stop being Your enemies (Jas 4:4; Phil 3:18) and give their lives to You.

Promise:  "The Lord also reveals to you that He will establish a house for you." —2 Sm 7:11

Praise:  "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel because He has visited and ransomed His people" (Lk 1:68).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004