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Entered, according to Act of Congress, by the LUTHERAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, DECORAH, IOWA. lu the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washingto:, D. C..
in the year 1901.
1. First Sunday in Advent. I. God, be gracious unto us, bless us, and make thy face to shine upon us. Amen.
Gospel Lesson, Matthew 21, 1-9. And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!
Jesus Christ is the king of the church. He governs it with meekness and justice, and defends it with divine omnipotence. Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, who took our sin upon himself, who died for us on the cross, and bought us with his blood; he is our king. What a wealth of joy and comfort there is in this truth! In the heart of every Christian is the prayer: Lord Jesus, rule thou over us. Thou, and none other, shalt own my heart. Do thou protect us; thou alone art our sun and our shield, and we will have none other beside thee. -Than the words which we hear today, "rejoice exceedingly, daughter of Zion; behold, thy King, the Lord Jesus, cometh unto thee," nothing more glorious could be said to us on the first day of the church year; it is the best possible answer to the prayer of the Christian heart.
He is the king of the church. No enemy, then, however strong, shall prevail against it. No matter how threatening the outlook may seem, the church shall obtain the victory and be saved. With eternal fidelity he keeps watch over his bride, who has been bought with a price; and in his omnipotence he is able to defend her against the most terrific assaults on the part of all the hosts of hell. Beyond question the church will soon be called on to face great tribulation; all manner of lying attacks by false spirits, and bitter persecution on the part of the world. Let all who belong to the army of the Lord