God saved us when He sent His Son Jesus to die and rise for our sins. He applies that salvation to us – each and all – through the washing of Holy Baptism. In Holy Baptism, our sins were washed away. Our old evil nature, called the Old Adam, was drowned and died, and we received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We believe, according to Jesus’ Word, that He will return on the Last Day. As He ascended on the clouds, so will He come; and every eye will see Him. By His glorious power, He will raise the dead out of their graves.
It was not just for the world, and not just for them that He died and rose, but for you and me, too. The forgiveness and eternal life which He secured for Simeon and Mary, He won for you.
The change in our Lord’s appearance at the Transfiguration was for our benefit, that we might see just a bit of the glory to be revealed to us at the Resurrection and in the new creation. The shining face of Jesus also reminds us that He is the one who speaks God’s Word to us.
Let us all, though, hear St. Paul’s encouragement to Titus, that we also hold fast to the Word we’ve been taught and cling wholeheartedly to the God who does not lie. May the Lord work through each of us according to our vocation, that we – like Titus – would teach the Word truthfully and live faithfully.
As with Moses, Jesus doesn’t send us out adrift; He continues to reveal His glory to us and be with us in His Holy Word and Sacrament.
The chosen one would be a sign of God’s good will toward mankind, His desire to love and forgive. This chosen one would open the eyes of the blind and bring the prisoners out of the dark dungeons. At Jesus’ Baptism, God the Father speaks and shows us that His chosen one is Jesus.
The Scriptures were the lamp to the Magi’s feet, it’s what made them wise men. The star brought them to Jerusalem, but the Word first showed them Jesus. The Word is what points us to Jesus, too.
As we enter a new year in Christ, let this be our confidence, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”
The kingdom which Jesus brings and which lasts forever is not an earthly kingdom. It is a heavenly kingdom and rule; it is the Church. The Church is the kingdom of Christ which cannot be shaken, eternal in the heavens.