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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

From heav’n above to earth I come
to bear good news to ev’ry home:
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing ...

Luther loved music—deeming God’s gift of song second only to His gift of theology. Here the Reformer sets the Christmas account to music and in this centuries-old children’s hymn clearly proclaims the reality of Jesus’ incarnation. This text encourages us to consider the two natures in Christ, looking both to Jesus’ humanity and divinity. In His humble birth, we see Jesus willingly give up the glories of His Divine nature in order to redeem us from the curse of sin. Jesus becomes a true human being so that He might be our substitute. He lives a perfect life to satisfy the demands of the law for us and then He offers up His own life on the cross to atone for all of our trespasses.

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Pastor Douglas Zahner serves at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mayville, Wisconsin.

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