12/25/2014 Christmas Day The text for today’s sermon is Luke 2:1-20; Isaiah 9:2-7.
Grace and peace to you from God, our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Merry Christmas, everyone – today is a day for celebration and good cheer as we remember the greatest event in the all of history. For on this day, we celebrate the birth of a child and not just any child. Today we rejoice in the birth of a son who is the fulfillment of God’s promises and the hope for all generations to come.
For who is born on Christmas Day? Jesus.
And who is Jesus? He is the only begotten Son of God.
It isn’t often that such an event happens. God doesn’t come down from heaven in human form every day. The event is special. It is so special that the heavens rejoice as the light of God comes into the world in the birth of a baby.
But most of the people at the time of the birth were oblivious to what had taken place or they simply ignored it. They were too busy to take time out and look for the signs of God’s presence. To them, such a birth was meaningless for the child was born to travelers who had come for the census. His mother was a stranger among her own people. She had no place to go…no home in the area where people would welcome her in with open arms. She had no place to go although she was about to give birth – not even the inn keeper would allow her stay as the place was too full and there was no suitable spot for a woman to lay her weary body and give birth to a baby in such cramped quarters. So, Mary and Joseph (her husband to be) had to prepare for the delivery in a damp stable.
It was there, in the lowliest of places, where animals rested and were fed, that the cries of a newborn would be heard. The world did not know what we know. People did not come to see what had taken place. But the angels came, singing praises to God.
For who is born on Christmas Day? Jesus
And who is Jesus? Jesus is God’s Son
Jesus is the Son of God and yet, his birth went unnoticed. The plight of his family went unnoticed. And, this special child was laid in the feeding troth. His bedding was hay. And, his clothing was strips of cloth. There was nothing to indicate a royal birth. There was nothing to reveal him as special.
And yet, who was born on Christmas Day? Jesus – Yes, none other!
And who is Jesus? Jesus is the Son of God. He is God with us!
How unbecoming a way for God to enter on the scene! How unexpected a birth! But, oh what joy there is for the world.
God has not forsaken his people. God has looked down upon our pain and reached out to soothe it. God has looked down upon our sorrow and reached out to console us. God has looked down upon our desperate hours and reached out to give us hope. God has done this by taking on our form and living as one of us, coming to us in Jesus.
Jesus gave up the glory of heaven and took on the muck of humanity. Jesus did not have to do this, yet he chose to do it in obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus did it for our sake. Jesus embodied the love and mercy of his Father, and went the extra mile for us. Jesus gave everything He had, even His life, for us. Jesus didn’t have to do it. But Jesus chose to do what we could not do for ourselves. And because of what He has done for us, we are reconciled to the Father.
Only God can reconcile us sinners to himself. And God chose to do this by coming to us as a child. So, today, we celebrate. We celebrate a birth that took place over 2000 years ago in the little town of Bethlehem. We celebrate a most humble birth, an unexpected gift. And, we rejoice in the mystery of God’s incarnation, and his willingness to be with us so that we might be saved.
For, who was born on Christmas Day? Jesus
And who is Jesus? He is the Son of the Living and Loving God
It is Jesus whose birth we celebrate. He is the reason for the season. It is Jesus who is the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one who came to make us free. He is the Son of God who did not come in human form to be honored as a human king. He is the Son of God who came down in human form to be the savior of the world. In Jesus God came down to experience the damp, cold, dark places of this life and to illuminate them with the light of his truth, the light of his life. God came down to give hope to a people saddened by years of oppression. God came down to give sight to the blind so that they might be filled with the light of faith. God came down from his highest throne and became man. And the world, though it would try, would never be the same again.
For who was born on Christmas Day, my friends? Jesus
And who is Jesus?
He is the reason we celebrate this day. For Jesus, the Bethlehem babe, is the Son of God. He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He is the one who was to come. All authority rests upon his shoulders and is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He is God’s greatest gift…and in him we are saved.
So, Merry Christmas my friends and may you have many more as the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.