Saturday, December 24, 2016


Christmas Day
25 December 2016
Isaiah 9:2

O God, You make us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Grant that as we joyfully receive Him as our Redeemer, we may with sure confidence behold Him when He comes to be our Judge; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shines.

It is significant that Jesus was born on a "Silent Night, a Holy Night" He came to a people who walked in darkness. He came as a light to eliminate that darkness. Jesus came to be a light to the people who walk in darkness.

1.     There is darkness. It is the darkness of the world - caused by sin -1 John 1:6-7 "If we say that we have fellowship him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not have the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin".

From the time in which our first parents, Adam and Eve fell headlong into sin, the people of this world have been living in a dream world.  That dream world consists in this; that the majority of people believe that they can please God even if they continue to walk in darkness.  This comes in various forms. Hardly any would believe that they are perfect.  Hardly a person on this earth will dare to believe that they are without fault.  But where people deceive themselves and live in denial is when they convince themselves that they can live a life without any consequences.

They believe that either God will make up for their shortcomings or they believe that God will somehow overlook and disregard their offences. But this does not stand the test of every man. How can we have fellowship with a holy and righteous God when we walk in the shadow and the night of sin? Thus, the evangelist John will remind us: "If we say that we have fellowship him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not have the truth."

We can try to fool our neighbors, families, friends and ourselves thinking that all is well. But the testimony of the clear Word of God's Law and the conviction of our own conscience will tell us that we cannot stand before a holy and righteous God who is perfection and light.  If we are walking in the darkness of sin, we have no fellowship with God.

So, what can we do? We cannot deny the fact that we are sinners. Try as we might, we cannot resist and conquer sin. We are a people walking in darkness, and surrounded by the shadow of death.

Transition:  This is how the world has existed from the time of Adam. But God our Father who has given us His Word and promise. He has determined to dispel the darkness of sin and death as His light shines upon us. That light came at Christmas and continues to shine ever so brightly as Christ; the light of the world, has shined upon us. 

"When Jesus enters meek and lowly To fill the home with sweetest peace; When hearts have felt His blessing holy And found from sin complete release, Then light and calm within shall reign And hearts divided love again" {TLH #65 stanza 2}[1]

2.     Jesus is the light of the world - The prophet reminds us: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shines."

So what is it that you confess? Every. Single. Sunday. “…who for us men and our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man.[2]

You see, there is a person who knows and understands you. His name is Jesus Christ. We need to remember, especially today, that there was a nativity. In that manger, the Son of God didn’t just insert Himself into human activities. He inserted Himself in the grittiness of human flesh. He was also a person who knew pain and anger. He became angry Himself on occasions, and ultimately was the victim of anger. This life that you live. Your struggles.  Your anger. Your weakness.  Your woes.  Your sorrows - your Lord knows all. Even your joys exactly. Because He became a man.*
The incarnation changes everything. For we do not have a God who was too proud to know His people. Or, a God content to rule from a great distance. Or, a God whose majesty was too awesome for us to behold. We have just the opposite. Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph, who experienced the very same humanity, the very same problems, and the very same challenges that we do. No, you do not walk this road alone. Jesus is the God who came down from heaven. He was that man. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” –Isaiah 53:3 *[These thoughts and the importance of the incarnation came from Pr. Ken Kelly who serves a LCMS parish in Johnstown, PA A pastor with incredible insights.]
Christ has removed the darkness of sin. As He spoke the universe into existence with His Word saying "Let there be light" so He came into this world to shine His light upon a dark and sinful world to take away our sin, misery, and guilt.  That desert preacher proclaims to us clearly, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Christ is the eternal light and has come to save us from our sin. He does not overlook your sin. He eliminates it. He does not blink at sin, but He has entered time and space to be your substitute.

He takes unto Himself all of the world's misery and sin and He will carry it to the cross where He will suffer, die and rise again to be victorious.  The miracle of Christmas is that God has made it clear that He is in the business of redeeming and saving His people. As light eliminates the darkness so the coming of Christ brings the dawn of a new day, full of light and life. Upon us, the light of Christ has shown brightly eliminating all darkness of sin and error.

The miracle of Christmas finds its basis in the truth that Christ has come to eliminate sin. As He began the world's creation by producing light on the first day, He has shown brightly on this earth once again. In glory, there is no need of sun, moon or stars for He will be the eternal light that lights up the entire city.  As He draws us toward His light once more on this Christmas morning may the brightness of Christ burn in your hearts ever more until we are each ushered into His glory. Glory and light, which has no end!   Blessed Christmas!
Words –1,227
Passive Sentences –7%
Readability – 80.5%
Reading Level -5.4
Image: Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for private and congregational use

[1] A hymn that didn’t make it into the LSB but should have!
[2] The Nicene Creed

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