St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has made the difficult decision to pause our in-person Services until further notice. The Lord bless you and keep you.

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Christmas Eve

December 24, 2020 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Christmas

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Isaiah 9:2-7
Date: December 24th, 2020; Christmas Eve; Series B
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, it was formless and void and it was completely dark.   
  • God’s first creative words recorded in the book of Genesis are “Let there be light.” 
  • And through his speaking, through his Word, there was light!
  • God provided the light that was necessary for life to exist and flourish! 
  • He provided the light that we need to survive! 
  • But the darkness of sin and death entered into the Creator’s creation when Adam and Eve first disobeyed God.
  • Instead of basking in the warmth of God’s light and life they chose instead the lies and dark path of the serpent. 
  • And with their sin exposed before God, they hid themselves in the shadows of the trees of the garden in the cool of the day.
  • And ever since, we too have walked in, and dwell in, a land of deep darkness - as the prophet Isaiah described it.
  • It’s been a tough year. 
  • Together, the entire world has been dealing with the darkness of the pandemic - and it has cast dark shadows in our lives in many ways.
  • Our Christmas and holiday celebrations might be a bit less merry this year with the restrictions on being able to be together at church and in our homes.
  • On top of the pandemic, some of us have experienced the darkness of worrying over how the bills will get paid, or have struggled with the loneliness of isolation, or have suffered injury or illness, or have lost someone we loved so dearly.
  • But that’s enough about the darkness. There has been enough of that in 2020.
  • Tonight we focus on, and bask in, the Light!
  • The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God has not left us in the dark, but has sent a great light - and on us this light has shined!
  • For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and his name shall be called, “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
  • Tonight we celebrate that into the darkness of this world of sin and death - has come a great Light! And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it! (John 1:5).
  • At Jesus’ birth, God’s “Let there be light” sounds forth once again, and it shines in the darkness of our hearts.
  • It shines brightly with Christ’s love, forgiveness, and life!
  • The prophet Isaiah says that, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
  • The Lord of hosts, the Creator of all things, the King of kings - is zealous for you and wants your relationship with him to be restored - so he sent the true light, which enlightens everyone, into this world for our salvation.
  • As soon as the darkness of sin and death entered the world, God promised a Saviour when he said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise is heal” (Genesis 3:5).
  • God remained faithful to his promise to save us, even when his people were unfaithful to him.
  • When the nation of Israel was reduced to a stump because of its rebellion and sin, the Lord promised that the Branch of Jesse’s tree would grow with mighty power to save and to give us victory over the grave!
  • In the fullness of time, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that this branch would grow in her virgin womb, that she would miraculously bear a son who she shall call Jesus - our Deliverer.
  • In the days when a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that it was time for a census, when Quirinius was governor of Syria - at just the right time in history - Mary gave birth to the promised Messiah, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger.
  • In such lowliness and humility, the Son of God is given for you - for your salvation.  
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • God gave his only Son over to the darkness of sin and death so that we could be set free from it.
  • Never has it been more dark than when our Lord took his last breath on the cross for our sin.
  • But the Light of Life shines in the darkness of death and the darkness cannot overcome it.
  • The bright beams of light and life burst forth on Easter morning when Jesus rose and left his tomb empty. 
  • In Jesus’ resurrection we see that he truly is the Son of God and that he can be trusted when he says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
  • Hearing this Gospel message of God’s Christmas gift of salvation, we believe and we follow - and we have the light of life!
  • Nothing is more sure than that.
“All out of darkness we have light, 
Which made the angels sing this night:
‘Glory to God and peace to men
Now and forevermore. Amen” (LSB #377, v. 4) 
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 3, 2021

Second Sunday after Christmas

December 27, 2020

First Sunday after Christmas

December 25, 2020

Christmas Day