Quietly in the night (Christmas 2017 Message)

Nativity of the Lord
Christmas Eve—Proper 1
Years ABC

On the same date: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Old Testament Isaiah 9:2–7
Psalm Psalm 96:1-13
New Testament Titus 2:11–14
Gospel Luke 2:1–20)

 

The birth of Jesus takes place without fanfare.  No billboards, no public service announcements and no blimp in the sky.  Maybe if He would be born today, that would have happened….most likely not.

Like today, it is so unbelievable for many, that God would come down for us and take on human flesh and be born of a virgin woman.  If we were told it was happening again tonight, I too would most likely  question it.  I would not make the announcements I spoke of.

This is how God would have it.  The king of kings, comes quietly in the night.  All those that thought they had power, will have no power.  The weak will be lifted by the birth of a savior, Emmanuel.

This birth is the beginning of a new chapter in God’s love story for God’s people.  God loved from the beginning, even when others could not see it and even today when people compare the God of the Old Testament to a “vengeful God”.

God loved, God does, God will do, for all for us.

Through Jesus Christ, God loves, does and will do for us.

It has never been about what we do but what God does.

I was watching “It’s a wonderful life this last week.”  It is a great illustration of the impact that a single person can have upon the rest of the world.  If that is possible, can we actually take in the immensity of the impact that God in the flesh, Jesus both God and human, actually has upon the world?

This second chapter is not over, it is still going on today.  When God became incarnate as God’s son heaven broke through to the hear and now.   Even when Jesus ascended to heaven to be with the Father, another, the Holy Spirit was sent to us.  Heaven is still here and now breaking through to us today.

Let me leave you with a story and a quote.

From an sermon story book I have;

What a humble birth! It is as though Christ slipped into the world—no fanfare, no king’s palace, no silk-lined cradle. Just humble swaddling clothes and a manger with straw for a bed! From Rome, Caesar spoke and the world obeyed, yet for it all, he faded into an insignificant shadow in history. The world scarcely took note of Jesus’ birth, yet the centuries have clothed him in glory such as the Caesars never knew. While the world hardly paused to note His birth, heaven bent low to herald to humble folk this event of the ages.

Martin Luther said this about Christmas.

Let us not flutter to high, but remain by the manager and the swaddling clothes of Christ, “in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Finally my brothers and sisters, Paul said; in 2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for God’s gift that is indescribable, …beyond any human words that can describe the gift of Jesus Christ.

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