The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Day
“The Glory of the Lord”
December 25, 2018
Sermon Text: John 1:1-14
Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dearly Beloved of the Lord,
Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration. And for those reasons as well as countless others, the number of people in church on Christmas Day is low. Look around you.
Why come in the day… early in the day no less… when we were here last night… worshipping the Christ Child… beholding the glory of the Lord… beholding the Savior of the World and our salvation as it beautifully unfolds?
Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration and yet were we to be in church every hour of the day for all of the days of our life, we could not begin to exhaust our considering the magnitude of this event… the intricacies of the event… and the implications of the same.
Case in point… our Gospel text. On this day when we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord… there is no mention of Bethlehem… or a stable… or Mary… or Joseph… no shepherds… no angels. Jesus’ name is not even mentioned!
And yet, what the Apostle John writes under the guidance of the Holy Spirit could not be more important to say, share and declare this day… Christmas Day… as we, by faith, gaze into a manger at a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths… so tiny and seemingly so helpless and powerless and come to find out that this little One is the eternal Word of God made flesh.
The Word that brought everything into being… all of creation. The Word that promised fallen mankind that everything would be made right again… set right again… that all would be forgiven… cleansed… made holy again.
The Word that would pierce the darkness that covered all people, nations and tribes with the brightest of light. Indeed, the Word that would be the Light of men… the Light of the world.
And in case it has really not hit home… your Light… was born that night. The Light that would show you the way… open for you the way to heaven has come. He who will lead you every step of the way… home! And He is… He has and always will be your guide. Indeed His Word… He who is the very Word of God is a Lamp to your feet and a Light to your path.
So be at peace this morning and every morning. There is nothing going on in your life now… nothing that may have happened in the past… nothing that appears to be looming in future that can take away your peace, your joy. It is here… always here… in Jesus… here in His Word, He who is that very Word.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
He is among us. Where two or three are gathered in His Name, there He is… here He is… Immanuel… God with us. Make no mistake about it… your Lord, your Savior, your King is as close to you now as He was to Mary and Joseph there in that stable… and this, in Word and Sacrament.
Behold our union and communion with the Lord… and this of His doing… this of His coming to be with us… to live with us… to die for us… to rise for us… to ascend for us into heaven… that we may likewise follow suit. And we will, most assuredly, in Him.
Behold… it has all been done… the victory won… the victory over sin, death and the devil… and this from the beginning… not from the moment of Christ’s birth, but before the worlds began. God’s plan of salvation set… God’s love for all mankind… for you, me and all of us and this, long before there was any of us.
Behold the love of God as seen in the one and only Christmas present that will ever count… the only one needed.
This wonderful morning once again, behold the glory of the Lord that shines all around us. As it did then, so now. Though we do not see the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven… they are with us… their voices blending with ours as we give glory to the newborn King. A most blessed Christmas to you all! Amen.
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.
“The Glory of the Lord” 12/25/18 The Rev. Mark H Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL.