Christmas Day 2018

Let us pray: Dear Savior, we cannot fathom the depths of Who You really are because You’re God and we’re just mere mortals.  Yet, You have chosen to share the best part of Yourself—Your loving forgiveness wrapped up in the manger.  So, today we rejoice over the fact that each of us is touched by God!  Lord, continue to touch our souls with Your love unto life everlasting.  Amen

GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM OUR LOVING LORD WHO LIES IN A MANGER!

TEXT:  John 1: 1-18

Dearly Beloved in the Christ-Child:

Before the elements were elemental—there was Christ!  Before time began its progression—there was Christ!  Before our known reality was real—there was Christ!  Before anything—there was Christ!  That’s the meaning behind John’s words was He paraphrases Genesis this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.”

Jesus Christ is the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity.  He is true God.  He existed and exists outside or our time and outside of our space.  He belongs to the elemental reality of the One and Only God.  We cannot wrap our heads around that fact.  We simply believe it and marvel over it in awe.

And then, in primordial “time” (for lack of a better human word) this eternal Word exercised His creative force and power: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was the life and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”  Yes, this sin-darkened world still does not understand the essence of the Christ Child.  For if they did, the entire planet would bow down before His manger today on their knees and kiss the dirt.  For He is our Creator.  He is the Master Potter and we are His humble creation.  Just as the pot cannot comprehend the creative force of its maker, and cannot direct His actions, so we humans cannot exert control over Christ.

“He was in the world, (because He created it) and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize him.  He came in that which was his own; but his own did not receive him.”  This is the sad truth of that first Christmas.  Outside of a few shepherds and others, the people of Palestine were oblivious to His birth.  Very few flocked to the manger.  Even fewer grasped the significance of the Creator of the universe being born there.  But some did.  It is always that way when it comes to the Christian faith.  By God’s grace some hold on and cling to the Christ-Child. Some even today make church worship a priority.  “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”  Yes, the miracle of Christmas is still played out today right here right now!  For you have received Him by faith and been born again by God’s power and Spirit anew!

And now the elemental miracle, the reason, behind our spiritual regeneration is spelled out: “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  If the infinite Son of God Who was the operative force behind all creation (For God Almighty used this Word and said: ‘Let there be’ and there was!), when He came to this earth and was born, the infinite was contained in finite human flesh.  This is a logical impossibility to our minds.  It cannot happen—in our minds.  But yet, the Perfect Potter is greater than our created minds, isn’t He?  And why did He do this?  To reveal His love for us, to save our souls, and to fill us with inexpressible joy!  That’s the essence of what John means when he says: “full of grace and truth!”

I’ve told you this same truth for many years now.  Namely, God being born in the form of a baby is welcoming and not scary.  No one is scared of a baby.  Everyone wants to welcome and hold and cuddle a baby.  So, the miracle of Christmas reveals to us the very best side of God—His loving side.  In short, it reveals to us that our God is full of grace, or unconditional love.  I leave you today with this thought:  What is more vital to our existence—the miracle of creation itself, or the miracle of Christ’s incarnation and birth?  I know, it’s kind of a “chicken or egg” question.  For without creation, we wouldn’t be here to begin with.  And yet, without Christ’s birth we could not be saved, life would have no eternal meaning, and we would never really know the extent of God’s love for us.  “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”  So, I submit to you that nothing in the entire universe or beyond is more profound, uplifting, and comforting than the miracle of Christmas—“unto you this day a Savior has been born to you Who is Christ, the Lord!” Rejoice!   Amen