Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sermon for 25 December 2012, The Nativity of Our Lord

The Rev. Paul J Cain
John 1:1-14 (15-18)
Light of Day
The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day, 25 December 2012
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Angels, shepherds, and a miraculous birth. The whole heavenly host sang of He who was born Savior of the world. How would things look in the light of day?
If anything, Jesus shines brighter. As our hymn of the day says, “The Light Eternal breaking through, Made the world to gleam anew; His beams have pierced the core of night, He makes us children of the light. Alleluia!” (LSB 382:4)
Some gifts given yesterday and today will be forgotten tomorrow. One Christmas gift, Jesus, the original Christmas gift, endures. He is the gift that keeps on giving. St. John does not give us an account of angels, shepherds, or the specific events surrounding the first Christmas Day. He does tell us Who Jesus is and what He means to all of us in the light of heavenly day.
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, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Darkness is the absence of light. Light is something. Science tells us that it is both particles and waves. Common sense tells us that light in darkness is comforting. God said, “Let there be light!” and there was light. Jesus’ Christmas birth renews the world. And John the Baptist prepared the way for Him.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome. His light spread from Bethlehem and Jerusalem and all Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
We celebrate new life, new birth, and new creation this Christmas as our congregation celebrates a Christmas Day baptism today and six other baptisms yesterday afternoon. God the Father has no grandchildren—only children. And you are a dear child of God.
14 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. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
It is a privilege and special blessing to celebrate Jesus’ birth with both of His sacraments. He dwells with us according to His own promises. Again, we receive grace and truth from the Lord’s fullness, grace upon grace, even the grace and truth that came and still comes only through Jesus Christ. He has made Himself known to us. Thanks be to God!
LSB 382:5: The very Son of God sublime Entered into earthly time To lead us from this world of cares To heaven’s courts as blessed heirs. Alleluia! Alleluia! We praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth!
Merry Christmas! Amen.

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.