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This is the first installment of a new series in which we are reprinting Spokesman articles by early leaders in the CLC. Pastor James Albrecht is the curator of the series. Pastor Winfred B. Schaller, Jr. (1922-1983), the author of this month’s article, was a leader in the formation of the CLC, and was the first editor of the Lutheran Spokesman. This article appeared in the December 1959 issue, at a time when many pastors and congregations had left their former fellowships for conscience’s sake and, in some cases, were facing severe hardship because of it.

That is our wish for you. It is for all who are in trouble. It is for all who suffer for His Name’s sake. For congregations who have lost their houses of worship which were so dear to them, for pastors and teachers and their families who have lost their means of support and must labor at secular work while they try to find energy to serve their sheep and lambs, for families worshiping in private homes without a pastor to minister to their needs. Yes, to all who have problems so great that they defy solution, we are bold to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful New Year! We know it will come true because of something Isaiah said of the Little Child, Who is again coming into your homes with all His gifts: “His name shall be called WONDERFUL.”

You have a Wonder Child. So wonderful is He that we cannot begin to comprehend Him. How can this Child be Son of Mary and yet be the everlasting God in heaven? How can He be our Child and yet we are His children? The Creator and yet a creature? Born of a woman, yet having no earthly father? God’s Gift to us, yet the Giver of gifts to us? He is a Child of infinite Wonder.

How wonderful are His works! See the wonders He performed on the sick, the blind, the lame, yes, even on the dead! But far greater are the wonders He performed which we cannot see. To banish sickness was a little wonder compared to His crushing victory over the Devil. Our wonder Child broke the power of our sin by taking it to Himself. This Little Child of wonders dared even to invade the stronghold of Death—”now ’tis a pow’rless form.” (TLH 162, v.4) And wonder of wonders, He removed the sword from the hand of the angel who guards the gate of Paradise; opened wide that gate; slammed tight the gates of hell.

And the wonders never cease. The Wonderful One snatched you and your children from the kingdom of Satan and placed you into the blessed Kingdom of God, in your Baptism. Daily He drives Satan from your hearts through His Word and Sacrament and keeps you by His power in faith.

Take this Wonder-full One into your arms this Christmas! He is yours and He is so mighty. Then face the new year with its difficult problems and heavy burdens. They cannot overpower you. For you are armed with the Wonder-Child, whose great delight is to do wonders for you. Is the future quite impossible to face? It matters not, for your Wonder-Child was born of a virgin and He delights in doing the impossible.

Fear not, be not afraid, you have a future full of wonders. We wish you all, dear brothers and sisters, a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND WONDER-FULL NEW YEAR WITH THE WONDERFUL CHILD OF BETHLEHEM!

Pastor Winfred B. Schaller, Jr.(1922-1983)