Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sermon for 12/24/16: The Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord

No audio. My apologies. A blessed and merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.

"Unto You"

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The words of our text may be the greatest good news ever delivered by angels to men. Those words, unto you, help us to understand both who Jesus is and why He came to earth. So who is Jesus? He is none other that the Son of God. He is the perfect image of His heavenly Father. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is the name above every name. And as the angel says to the shepherds and to us, this Jesus, this Son of God, this co-creator of the world and judge of all the earth, is born unto you.
What an amazing gift from God! It is a gift beyond price. Some of you have had children. Others have not, but might some day. Any of you who are parents know that there is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that this is your child. This is your son in your arms; this is your daughter sitting on your lap: your very own flesh and blood, born into your family. Now take all the wonder, all of the glory and majesty of birth and family and life in your own arms, and look to the manger in Bethlehem. In that manger is born a Child. Isaiah put it so well: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
This child, this Son of God and Son of Mary, is born unto you. This child comes into our family, the family of the human race. This One comes to give what no other child can give. For no matter how wonderful human birth is, no matter how great a gift is family, we are all born into sin and death and heartache. But not This One. This one is born the Savior, Christ the Lord. He is God and Man. He is without sin and full of the Love of the Father for you. He is your peace and hope in this dark world. He is your life, He is your forgiveness, and He takes upon Himself all of your sin.
“For unto you is born this day…a Saviour.” Have there ever been more beautiful words spoken of in all the world? This perfect Son of God is born unto you. He is born in the darkness of our sin, but He brings light and life and salvation to all who trust in Him. He comes in silence, but the angels of heaven cannot help but sing out, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
The almighty Word of God descends from His royal throne on high, and takes the lowliest form of all: He takes on your form, your likeness. He does this so that you by faith may take on His nature: a child of God and an heir of eternal life. For Christ has entered into your family. He sits at your table; He rests in your bed. He is one of us as much as every other member of your family. Yet this new member of the human family comes to give us gifts like no other. For by entering into your flesh, by taking on your family, Jesus Christ has also adopted you into God’s family. You now bear God’s name as much as He bears your name. And through this Son, God and sinners are reconciled.
It is indeed no wonder that the angels in heaven sing, Glory to God!” But no matter how joyfully the angels sing, their joy this night cannot match ours. For this Jesus has made peace with God for all mankind. We are not separated from God anymore. He is one of us, and He is Immanuel, “God with us.” Rejoice in the mystery of God made flesh, for He comes to save you. And so we pray, “O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.” In the name of the Father and of the Son (†) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always. Amen.

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