Sermon for Christmas Day – 12.25.22

+ The Nativity of Our Lord – December 25th, 2022 +

Series A: Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrews 1:1-12; John 1:1-18

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“History’s Most Important Event”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

The late  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was once asked in an interview: what was the most important event in the history of the world?

 

Quite a question, isn’t it. So many possibilities. How would you answer? George Washington’s crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve of 1776? The crowning of the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne in 800? The right answer is the answer Justice Scalia gave in his interview. What was the most important event in the history of the world? The incarnation.

 

Today we celebrate history’s most important event: the incarnation. The baby in the manger, begotten of Mary is also the only begotten Son of the Father from all eternity. God became man.

 

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.

 

Everything Jesus came to do is wrapped up for us in His incarnation. Not just Christmas, but Good Friday and Easter too. We go from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Jerusalem; from Jesus’ crib to his cross. From the angel’s announcement to Mary, to the angels announcement to the shepherds, to the angel’s announcement to his disciples at the empty tomb.

 

There is no other event in history that even comes close to the importance and meaning of the incarnation of the Son of God to save us. All of history pales in comparison to Christ’s incarnation, He who makes, upholds, and guides history, enters onto the pages of history in order to redeem you.

 

This is how John tells us the Christmas story. Not in Bethlehem with the shepherds. Not with angels singing Glorias. John gives us a behind the scenes tour of the workings of the world. John reveals that all of human history has been God’s preparation for the day when he would step forth into human history by being made man. In Christ’s incarnation, history, divinity, humanity, and majesty collide.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

 

John takes us all the way back in history. To the beginning. To Genesis. Creation. Light and life. Why this cosmic view of things? Because of the darkness. The darkness of sin. Darkness of death. C.S. Lewis once wrote that all of human history is one example after another of humanity choosing something other than God in which to find happiness.

 

That’s true of us as well. Who and what is our joy this Christmas? Why do we celebrate Christmas? Is it the exchange of presents, the festive meals with family and friends, decorated trees and wreaths, colored lights and colorful paper wrapping and bows? Is it in showing kindness toward others, especially the less fortunate, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving toys to poor children. Don’t get me wrong. These are all good things. Joyful things. Blessings. And yet, without Christ’s incarnation – like history – it’s all for nothing.

 

And yet, because of Christ’s incarnation, all of these Christmas blessings, indeed all of human history, is redeemed. Indeed, God has ordered all of history to prepare us for John 1 and Jesus incarnation to save you. In the days of Caesar Augustus, when Quirinius was governor of Syria, the eternal Word through whom all things were made and in whom all things have their existence and are held together, became “bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.”

 

The same God who created the heavens and the earth, who told Noah to build the ark, who called Abraham, who rescued Israel from Egypt, who spoke the Ten Commandments at Sinai, who dwelt between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies is the same God who nursed at Mary’s breasts, called fishermen to be his disciples, fed and healed the crowds, and was crucified between two criminals. The Lord who spoke through the prophet Isaiah fulfills his own word, is made flesh, and bears his holy arms for all the world to see. Outstretched in the manger. Outstretched on the cross. How beautiful are the feet of the God-man, the incarnate Christ, who brings good news of great joy to you.

 

This is the great and profound mystery of Christmas which John places before our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds whenever we read John 1. This baby is God in the flesh. Here dwells meekness and majesty; humility and holiness; a helpless human baby boy and the Almighty Savior of all. To become Man is nothing for God to do, for with God all things are possible. It’s nothing for God but it’s everything for us. Jesus’ incarnation is one small step for God; one giant leap for mankind.

 

And yet, Jesus is much more. He is all men, all people, every child of Adam and Eve. His humanity is our humanity; His poverty is our poverty; His weakness is our weakness; His life is our life; His death is our death. He is all that we are and yet without the one thing that doesn’t belong – Sin. He is like us in every way – bone of our bones, flesh of our flesh, born of woman – yet without the inherited taint of Sin that kills and condemns us.

 

Jesus is fully God and fully man, and needed to be God and man; two natures in one person. True God in order to bear the full weight of human history, all sin, all darkness, even death itself, upon himself on the cross. He took the long record of our sin against God and canceled it forever.

 

And yet, he is true man in order to be our substitute, our stand in. Everything he does he does for you. All our sinful history becomes his, so that all his eternal blessings become yours. That we might be born, as John says…not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

And in Jesus’ incarnation history is changed forever. So is the future. Jesus is the last Adam; he causes Adam’s sin and ours to come undone. Jesus’ incarnation is both the promise of a new creation, and the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth.

 

And yet, Jesus’ incarnation is also the greatest event. Here. Now. Today. As we sing and celebrate. In ordinary bread and wine, the incarnate Lord dwells with us and for us in his body and blood. In his holy word, the Word of the Lord comes to us declaring his grace and promise. In ordinary water, Jesus makes you a part of all of his saving work in history for you. You are his. He is yours. And, as you return home. As you enjoy family, friends, and festivities. As you go about your daily life and callings. As you step into the pages of history yet to be written, Jesus’ incarnation fills your lives with his hope, peace, and grace.

 

What’s the most important event in the history of the world? John said it best. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

 

A blessed and Merry Christmas to each of you…

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

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Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977