In Nomine Iesu!
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Prayer in Pulpit before Sermon:
O Lord, send out Thy Light and Thy Truth, let them lead us. O Lord, open Thou my lips, that my mouth may show forth Thy praise. O Lord, graciously preserve me, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. Amen.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Last night the Gospel of the Apostle and Evangelist St. John established the divinity of the Lord + Jesus. This morning, the Evangelist St. Luke established His manhood. That our Lord and Savior be both God and man is of utmost importance. For if He is not fully God He cannot atone for the sins of the whole world. And if He is not fully man, all of works and merits will not help mankind. Therefore, after we have heard that the Lord + Jesus has been begotten of the Father before all worlds; that He is the Word made flesh, and that Word was from the beginning, and that Word was the Lord God, we now hear that this eternal Word is the Firstborn Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
She brought forth her Firstborn Son and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn. This is the good news for us today, my dear children, that the eternal Word begotten before the foundation of the world has been born today in our flesh. He is born for us to bring us salvation. Today a Savior is born for us in the city of Bethlehem. We get to hear the same Gospel proclamation that was preached to the shepherds who were abiding in their fields at night keeping watch over their flocks by night. We have a Savior! A Savior is born for us! This Savior is the Firstborn Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, just as He is the Only-Begotten Son of the heavenly Father.
This Firstborn Son of the Virgin Mary has come to be our brother. He is our Firstborn brother. He is the Firstborn of all those who through faith in Him receive the gift of salvation. Our Savior—our Firstborn brother—saves us from sin, death and the power of the devil. He is born in humble circumstances to redeem us from the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. He takes upon Himself our flesh, so that He might redeem us from the sin and darkness that dooms us all. The Firstborn Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary comes to bring to us life and light. He comes to dispel the gloom of death and the grave that has entrapped us. He comes to free us from the sins that bind us to the grave. He sheds the bright beams of His eternal light among us, so that we are no longer blinded by the darkness of sin, but we instead have our eyes opened to see that there is indeed salvation found in Him. This salvation is found only in Him. The only Savior of mankind is the Firstborn Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for He is both God and man. He is begotten of His heavenly Father before the foundation of the world, and He born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our flesh.
The Almighty Lord and God, the Creator of the world has humbled Himself to be born of a Virgin in our flesh. He has humbled Himself to take upon Himself our flesh, so that through Him we might have salvation. He accomplishes our salvation by humbling Himself even further than taking upon Himself our flesh, but without sin. He humbles Himself to hang upon the tree of the holy cross. He takes upon Himself our curse, for all those who hang upon a tree are cursed. He Who is without sin takes our sin upon Himself, in order that He might bear our punishment. He suffers for us. He suffers for His creation. What marvelous love our Lord and God has for us poor, miserable sinners! What love the eternal Word Who is born of the Blessed Virgin Mary has for His creation! Such good news must be accompanied with rejoicing. It must be accompanied with the singing of the praises of the Lord God.
Indeed, my dear children, such good news that a Savior is born for us today in the city of David; in Bethlehem of Judea, is accompanied with the voices of singing. For an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds as they watched their flocks by night and proclaimed this good news to them. The herald of the angel was joined by the song of the entire heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among men in Whom He is well pleased.”
We also sing this song today. It has remained silent among us in anticipation of this day. The song that angels sang at our Lord’s birth is also sung by us poor sinners. For this song proclaims that we will have peace from the Lord God. But this is not just any sort of peace. It is not the peace that this world longs for; the peace where everybody gets along with each other. In a world filled with sin such peace will never last. For sinners will do the things that sinners do, they will jealous or hateful or self- righteous.
No, my dear children, the peace that our Lord + Jesus brings to us today is the real and lasting peace between God and man. This peace establishes a reconciliation between man and God. There is peace with the Lord God for He no longer credits our sins to us. We are reconciled to the Lord God, because our Lord and Savior + Jesus, the Christ has become both God and man. And in becoming both God and man, in being the Firstborn Son of the Virgin May and the Only-Begotten Son of the heavenly Father, He can do what we are unable to do. He can both fulfill the Law perfectly, and pay the penalty of our sins by His suffering and death.
This is Who is born for us today. A Savior Who is Christ the Lord. A Savior for us from sin, death and the power of the devil. A Savior Who brings life and light. A Savior who rescues us from the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. A Savior Who saves us who cannot save ourselves no matter what we do, say or think. This Savior, the Firstborn Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who is wrapped up in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger, is worthy of all of our praise and singing.
The angel host sang the song of praise in the night to the shepherds. We also join our voices to the song of the angel. Indeed, we join our voices to the whole company of Heaven whenever we sing the Gloria in Excelsis. For with this song, we proclaim the Savior of the world, Who is both God and man, has come down from Heaven to be with us. He has come to be our Savior by taking upon Himself our flesh. Such a mysterious miracle as the incarnation of our Lord needs to be heralded with the proper praise. This praise is found in the words that the angels first sang on the night of our Lord’s birth in our flesh. We continue to sing this song every time we gather together in this holy house to be with our Lord and Savior + Jesus, the Christ.
Therefore, my dear children, let us celebrate this feast with joy and thanksgiving that our Lord has come to us in our flesh to redeem us from sin. For today is born for us in the city of David, a Savior Who is Christ the Lord. “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among men in whom He is well pleased.” What great good news! The eternal Word has become a man and dwells among us to save us. Thanks be to God! In the Name of our Lord + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit after Sermon:
Almighty God, be pleased to accompany Thy Word with Thy Holy Spirit and grant that Thy Word would increase faith in us; bring into the Way of Truth all such as have erred; turn the hearts of the unrepentant; and for sake of Thy Name grant succor to all heavy hearts and those who are heavy-laden, that they may through the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ be relieved and preserved so that they succumb not to the temptation of despair but rather that they gain the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with the Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!