Sunday, December 25

Sermon Preached Christmas Day at Shared Service with Immanuel Lutheran Church


Nativity of Our Lord Year B Proper III

A Christmas Sermon: Beyond Speech
Today God returns to Zion in a most peculiar way, by becoming human.  Today God joins God’s self to God’s creation.  In this God proclaims peace. In this God speaks to us in order that we may be freed from what burdens us.  This word, this speech, is light in darkness.  God comes that we may see, and not stumble around.  But the God of the entire universe, the source of it all, comes in a most peculiar way – like every other human being, as an infant.
There is a mystery here.  Mystery, meaning not just that this is beyond comprehension or something we must attempt to puzzle out, but something upon which we are too contemplate.  This is something that should arrest our attention like a painting or work of art.
Think of the earth, with its forest and deserts, oceans plains, mountains, rivers and lakes. Think of all the animals and planets - the intricacy of the habitats.  Think of the food you eat, what sustains you and gives you life.  Just this planet and the life here is amazing and beautiful. Think of the moon that affects the tides that lights up the night, and then think of the Sun its warmth and light that makes life possible on this planet that orbits the sun.
Think of the other planets that orbit this star we call the sun.  Our solar system is simply one of many that make up the Galaxy in which we live, which we see in our night sky as the Milky Way. Then think of all the Galaxies in the universe, the images our telescopes bring back to us of what is out there in this vast universe.  Think of all that was spun into existence out of the big bang, as our universe began.
Think then of the one beyond all that, the one before there could be a before, the Beginning. Think of this one who spoke all into being, the very reason for existence and life.  This one we call God who exerted no energy but created energy, the one who made all ages and things, the very universe.  This one wants to speak to us. This one has spoken. This one wants to enlighten us; this one wants to free us from our burdens, our sin.  This one beyond all time and being and existences, comes to our aid, in our darkness and confusion and speaks softly with caring. This one doesn’t come to crush, doesn’t come in terror but comes with words of peace.
This one beyond all things, source of all things, the one who is the speech that spoke all into being, comes and becomes what this one created, by becoming Jesus of Nazareth, joining God’s self to God’s creation, forever.  This is the one who is source and sustainer of all things, joins what this one created and sustains.
Does that arrest your attention, isn’t this something worthy of a life time of contemplation, and rapture. This should turn all our thinking on its head, that a baby 2000 year ago in a back water territory of the Roman Empire, was the incarnation of God.  The one beyond all thought and being and power, the very source, the very life of all things, is joined with matter.  This one comes in this way to be with us to enlighten us to lift our burdens, and say you are not alone, I Am.  Come into my light, step out of your confusion, you don’t need to stumble around and hurt yourself and others.  And yet we still do.  We in various ways turn aside from this light from this astounding thing that the God who spoke all things into being is joined forever with matter, with human flesh.
Yet this changes everything. God has become one of us in Jesus Christ.  This one born of the Virgin Mary is laid in a feeding trough.  This one was from conception the Son of God, the Word, the light of light, the very intimate speech of God to God’s creation. Listen, attend here is the beginning and the entirety of wisdom, our enlightenment and liberation.