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     And when they [Joseph and Mary] had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Luke 2:39-40

Dear Lord Jesus, I’ve never thought of irony as being beautiful until today; but, ultimately, everything that is associated with your reveals beauty, in one way or another. Joseph and Mary loved you well as parents. Soon after your arrival to our world, and into their embrace, they did “everything according to the Law of the Lord” on your behalf. But little did they realize, you were born to fulfill everything required by the law of the Lord for them—and for us.

Oh, wonder of all wonders, joy beyond all measure, peace that passes all understanding! Our hearts sing and soar as we reflect upon your humility, your kindness, and your servant love for us, Lord Jesus. You didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it on our behalf. What we could never do, you’ve done for us. What we could never be, you became for us.

The law demands a righteousness we could never attain—a righteousness that is freely ours in you. Hallelujah, many, many times over! Your last words from the cross, “It is finished,” are our first words of freedom. It’s not our obedience but yours in which we trust. It’s not our righteousness but yours in which we boast and rest. It’s not our works, but yours, which have reconciled us to God, and made us heirs of the new heaven and new earth. We praise, bless and adore you for your matchless mercies and irresistible grace!

And this same grace that justified us is now changing us. This same gospel which placed us in you is now making us like you. Fulfill in us everything you desire, Lord Jesus—as spouses, parents, friends, neighbors. Free us more fully to delight in you and serve with you, as your kingdom advances and as the great Day approaches when you will return to finish making all things new. So very Amen we pray, in your most glorious and gracious name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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