“The Truth of Christmas: The Word Became Flesh” (John 1:1-18)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Tuesday, December 25, 2018

“The Truth of Christmas: The Word Became Flesh” (John 1:1-18)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” This is the most wonderful good news we could ever receive! It is this central truth that makes Christmas Christmas. It’s not about toys or Santa Claus or mistletoe or even getting the family together. Those are all good things, but they’re not essential to Christmas being Christmas. Christ is–he, the Word made flesh. And that’s why we’re here this morning.

People like to think of Christmas as something soft and fluffy, full of warm and fuzzy feelings. Curled up on the couch, watching a Hallmark movie. Christmas as hot chocolate for the soul. But to reduce Christmas to that–well, that falls way short. Christmas is not cute and cuddly. Christmas is raw and real. Christ came into our world to deal with the root problem of humanity, which is sin. Christ came in the flesh, because that’s the only way it could happen. Christmas is earthy, not fluffy. It is flesh-and-blood reality that brings God to us, up close and personal. And that is what makes the real Christmas ultimately so offensive to the world.

But to us who know the truth of Christmas, its “fleshiness” is absolutely crucial and vital. Our very salvation depends on it! And so the church must always be vigilant about confessing “The Truth of Christmas: The Word Became Flesh.”

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Published in: on December 24, 2018 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“And the Word Became Flesh” (John 1:1-18)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Monday, December 25, 2017

“And the Word Became Flesh” (John 1:1-18)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Christmas marks a dividing line between truth and error. The reality of what happened at Christmas–namely, that the Word became flesh–that reality is so shocking, so utterly unreasonable and offensive, that it drives people crazy. It causes them to deny the truth and to promote error in its place. Most all the classic heresies that have been around for 2,000 years now, in various forms, have this in common: They cannot handle the truth of Christmas. They cannot stand the idea that the Word, the eternal Son of God, had to become flesh, with all the implications that flow out of that.

Now we like to think of Christmas as kinda soft and fluffy and inoffensive. Cute and cuddly. But to reduce Christmas to that–well, nothing could be further from the truth. Christmas is not “cute.” Rather, it is raw reality that deals with the root problem of humanity. It is earthy, not fluffy. It is flesh-and-blood stuff that brings God to us up-close and personal. And that is why ultimately it is so shocking and controversial. But to us who know the truth of Christmas, its “fleshiness” is absolutely crucial. Your very salvation depends on it! And so the church must always be vigilant about confessing this truth: “And the Word Became Flesh.”

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Published in: on December 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“And the Government Shall Be upon His Shoulder” (Isaiah 9:2-7)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Sunday, December 25, 2016

“And the Government Shall Be upon His Shoulder” (Isaiah 9:2-7)

About 26 days from now, we’re going to have a change in our government. A new president will take the oath of office, and a new administration will take over. For some people this will be a welcome change; for others, it will mean weeping and gnashing of teeth. But in any case, there will be a new president, and the weight of the White House will rest upon his shoulders.

Well, I’m here to tell you today, the most important change in administrations has already taken place, and it happened about 2,016 years ago. That’s when a new king was born, a king whose reign surpasses all others. And the good news is, you belong to his kingdom. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” “And the Government Shall Be upon His Shoulder.”

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Published in: on December 23, 2016 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us” (John 1:1-18)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Friday, December 25, 2015

“The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us” (John 1:1-18)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” This verse, John 1:14, is one of the most profound sentences ever written. Because it expresses and puts into words one of the most profound mysteries that has ever occurred in human history: that the eternal Son of God, through whom all things were created, at a certain point in time took on human flesh, became our brother, and that this is the greatest gift you or I will ever receive. This is the miracle of Christmas. God dwelt among us. And so our theme this morning on this glorious Christmas Day: “The Word Became Flesh and Tabernacled among Us.”

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Published in: on December 24, 2015 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (John 1:1-18; Titus 3:4-7)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Thursday, December 25, 2014

“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (John 1:1-18; Titus 3:4-7)

Today is Christmas Day. This is the day for celebrating the greatest birth in the history of the world, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ marks the watershed moment in all of human history. By a “watershed moment,” I mean a moment so significant that it marks a division between what went before and what comes after. And so it is with the birth of Christ. We even divide up time according to it: “B.C.,” “Before Christ,” and “A.D.,” “Anno Domini,” “In the Year of the Lord” such-and-such, that is, it’s been so many years since our Lord’s birth.

But besides being a day to celebrate our Lord’s birth, today is also a day for celebrating another birth–your own. And by that I mean your rebirth, your second birth, as a child of God. That is the watershed moment in your life, in your own personal history, the day when you were born again, born from above, in the waters of Holy Baptism. And our readings today speak of both of these momentous occasions: “Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own.”

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Published in: on December 25, 2014 at 4:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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“The Miracles of Christmas” (John 1:1-18)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

“The Miracles of Christmas” (John 1:1-18)

On this Christmas morning, I want to tell you about the miracles of Christmas. That’s right, “miracles,” plural. There are two great Christmas miracles proclaimed in our text today from John chapter 1. One is that the Son of God became man, and the other is that, because he did, we become the children of God. These are “The Miracles of Christmas” I want to talk to you about today.

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Published in: on December 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Ripple Effect of Christmas” (Luke 2:15-20)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

“The Ripple Effect of Christmas” (Luke 2:15-20)

Our text this morning is the second part of the Christmas Gospel we heard last night, that is, Luke 2, reading now verses 15 through 20: “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

Christmas has a ripple effect. The good news radiates outward. That’s our theme this morning: “The Ripple Effect of Christmas.” Let me explain.

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Published in: on December 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Christ’s Birthday Is Our Birthday, Too” (John 1:1-14)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Sunday, December 25, 2011

“Christ’s Birthday Is Our Birthday, Too” (John 1:1-14)

Whose birthday is it today? Well, that’s a good question. Of course, we’re celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s Christmas, after all. But at the same time, it is through Christmas, through the birth of Christ in the flesh, that other children are born, too–namely, the children of God. That’s us. And so today we’re celebrating the birth of Christ, first and foremost, but also with it, our own birth as God’s children. I can put our message today into one sentence: The Son of God became man, so that the sons of men could become the children of God. Let me repeat that: The Son of God became man, so that the sons of men could become the children of God. Or to put it more simply: “Christ’s Birthday Is Our Birthday, Too.”

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Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“John’s Profound Prologue: The Mystery of Christmas” (John 1:1-18)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Saturday, December 25, 2010

“John’s Profound Prologue: The Mystery of Christmas” (John 1:1-18)

The Holy Gospel for Christmas Day, John 1:1-18, which you just heard–this is usually called the “Prologue” of John’s Gospel, since this opening passage introduces many of the major themes to be developed throughout the rest of the book.

Now if there were a contest for the most profound passage in the Bible, I think John’s Prologue might win the prize. Nowhere are the most profound mysteries of the Christian faith expressed more deeply, and yet more simply, than here in this passage. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity; the doctrine of the person of Christ, his dual nature; the work of Christ, by which we are saved–all of these are caught and captured in the simplest of language, brief and succinct, and yet never to be fully plumbed in their depth. It’s like an ocean: so deep and wide you can never finish exploring it, yet you can get in the water and splash around joyfully like a little child. John has a knack for putting the deepest truths in the simplest of language, and that gift is fully on display here in our text. Only eighteen verses, and any preacher could easily get eighteen sermons out of it, there’s so much here.

And so this passage is perfect for Christmas. For here we find the astonishing, amazing, wonderful truth of what really happened on this day: The eternal God, who created all things, came in the flesh to be our Savior. There is nothing more profound and mysterious than this. Just try to wrap your mind around it. And yet it is so plainly stated. It’s kind of like the greatest Christmas present in the world, wrapped in a plain brown wrapper. A great treasure, hidden in plain sight. That’s what we have this morning as we explore “John’s Profound Prologue: The Mystery of Christmas.”

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Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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