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The Nativity of Our Lord

December 25, 2019 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Christmas

Passage: John 1:1–1:14

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: John 1:1-14
Date: December 25th, 2019; Christmas Day
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • In our Gospel reading this morning, John gives us a very different perspective on the birth of Jesus.  
  • It is far more philosophical and abstract in nature.
  • We don’t hear about a young couple with a newborn baby.  We don’t hear about no vacancy in the Inn, or stables and mangers, or shepherds or angels. 
  • No, we hear that Jesus is uncreated, infinite, and eternal.  
  • He is the Word, the Logos, and he always has been and he always will be.  
  • He is without beginning and without end - the Alpha and the Omega. 
  • And if it were any other way, Jesus wouldn’t be God. 
  • Everything else, everything that is not God - whether visible or invisible, is part of his creation. 
  • “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). 
  • He made everything out of nothing.  
  • He spoke all creation into being by his Word, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
  • Like Genesis, our Gospel lesson for this Christmas morning also starts before creation with the words “in the beginning” - but, it offers this twist: “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). 
  • Prior to creation, when there was nothing besides God, there was God’s Word. 
  • John puts it like this, “The Word was with God.”  
  • The Word and God are described as two distinct divine persons.  The Word is a divine person.  
  • “The Word was God,” uncreated, infinite, and eternal God.
  • Through this Word, there in the beginning, “all things were made.”  
  • The Word was the agent by whom God spoke the entire creation into being, “like a master workman,” as it says in Proverbs. 
  • Light and life have their beginning and source in him. 
  • As we read in Genesis, all that he made was very good.
  • But times have changed.
  • Things are not so good today.
  • There is sin, and sickness, and sorrow.  There is death and darkness.
  • Humanity is lost, disoriented, alienated - and constantly inventing false gods to fill the void and the emptiness.  
  • Humanity is focused on, and devoted to, the creation - not the Creator.
  • Our sin leads to misery and death and destruction.
  • But it is here that Christmas really becomes filled with meaning.
  • Out of his love and mercy for you - God entered the place where we are, he became what we are - so that we lost and condemned creatures would be saved from our sin and death and be restored in his image.
  • This is the great surprise and wondrous mystery of Christmas. 
  • God shows up in a place where we certainly don’t expect to find him, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” 
  • God the Word, who was there in the beginning and participated in the creation of all things, took on a human nature like yours. 
  • The Uncreated became a creature.  The Infinite became limited and bound.  
  • The Word became flesh, Jesus Christ, true God and true man in one person.
  • He is the Light of the world, the Light that shines in our darkness, the Light that no darkness can ever overcome.
  • He was born of a woman, Mary his mother, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger for a bed. 
  • He was before Abraham, even before Adam - and yet he can be found in Bethlehem as a tiny babe. 
  • The One who made the trees and the hills - has come with arms outstretched on a wooden cross, raised up on a hilltop. 
  • There, at Golgotha, the Creator of heaven and earth suffered and bled and died for his creation.  
  • There, at Golgotha, the Creator of heaven and earth saved and redeemed you from your sin and your death.
  • The One in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) was wrapped in linen and rested in a tomb - bursting forth on the third day - defeating death for you. 
  • The one who made the wheat and the vine - comes to you now in bread and wine.
  • His true body and true blood are present on this altar, given for you for the forgiveness of your sins and for the promise of eternal life. 
  • God the Word who was in the beginning - is now and forever incarnate, dwelling with us, in the person of Christ Jesus, our Saviour.
  • The uncreated, eternal, and infinite God became flesh and dwells among us as our light and our life.
  • This is what truly endures of Christmas after all of the baking and turkeys are consumed, the trees and decorations are put away, and we get back to the normal routines of life.  
  • I invite you, and encourage you, to join us at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church throughout the whole year as we continue to receive the gifts of the loving and merciful God who dwells with us.  Amen. 
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Christmas

January 5, 2020

Second Sunday after Christmas

December 29, 2019

First Sunday after Christmas

December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve