Sermons

Christmas Dawn (Lk 2:15–20)

December 25, 2016
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“Unto us Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” INI + AMEN.

The Son of God was born in human flesh. God and man, “God and sinners reconciled!” God and man united. Immanuel: God with us. “God is man, man to deliver And to Son Now is one With our blood forever.” All the presents have been bought, wrapped, maybe even opened! Their contents have been made known or will soon be known to the right person, whose name was on the tag.

Every year there’s a cacophony, a clamoring of opinions about what Christmas is all about. The majority of the world wants it to be a time of generic “peace” and “love,” that people should set aside their differences, let bygones be bygones. Like the Amazon Prime commercial of the Anglican Priest and the Muslim Imam. Cause it’s all the same really, right? To the world it is!

But the true question is this: What is the Lord making known to us?

((3. We want to stipulate the answer to that question.)) (15)

The problem is we want to dictate the answer to that question. It takes a special working of the Spirit to be like the shepherds, who say: “Let’s go until we reach Bethlehem, and let’s see this Word that’s happened that Yahweh has made known to us.” Now, we’d never openly deny that the Lord Himself gives the answer, and we’d never normally demand anything of Him. But there are times though when we’d do exactly that.

We might dictate various parts of that question. We might want to know what God is making known. We have all sorts of things we want God to make known to us. We want to know why things happen. Why bad things happen. Why good things happen. We want to know what we should do with all sorts of things. Should I take the job or not? Should I buy this house or that one? Pretty much any big decision, we want a little insider info from the Man upstairs.

We’d like some sign, too. And that’s how we dictate another part of the question. We want to say how God should make things known. We look to what’s happening around us. If things go well, or if things go badly, we use that to determine if we’ve made the right choice, if we’re doing the right thing, if God’s happy with us. But the LORD says in Deuteronomy 18, “There shall not be found among you anyone who interprets omens.” Interpreting omens is to look at the world around us to know what God’s up to.

((2. God’s already given an answer.))

When it comes to what’s the Lord’s making known to us, He’s already given in answer. He’s already made known the what, and the how has already happened. It’s what we remember this morning. He makes known the Savior. That’s what the Lord’s all about. Making known His own Son, who was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This is the Gospel: that there is a Savior for the people. He was born. He brings “peace on earth among those with whom [God] is pleased!” This Savior made peace with God “through the blood of His cross.”

If there’s a message, there’s a message giver, and we know who gave that first Gospel proclamation that first Christmas. It was the angels. Of course it was angels! Heaven was on earth in a manger, and the angels stand upon the earth to proclaim their message to the shepherds, to mankind that “Unto us Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” “He is Christ the Lord.” A message always has a messenger, the Gospel its preacher, the Word of the Lord His prophet. So it was then: The shepherds “made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.” These prophet shepherds made known the Word, the fulfilled Word, of Yahweh. His centuries upon centuries old promise had then been fulfilled.

((1. He gives the answer now.))

The Lord didn’t just make things known some 2,000 years ago. There’s still an answer to the question: what is the Lord making known to us? The answer’s the same as it was then. He makes known the Savior. That He loves you. He sent His Son for you. Jesus was born for you. With wood and stone He makes His bed: stable and manger the place for His head. Yet in few short years that promised One would save us all with cross and tomb. The eternal Son, the Lamb of God, slept where all sacrifices were born and fed. This is the Christmas message. This is the “great joy that will be for all the people.”

The answer is given now in His Word. His fulfilled Old Testament Word to be certain, but even the New Testament, too! “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” We know what happened that first Christmas because of her. She told Luke. The Lord makes His Word known. Her message preserved for us some 2,000 years later.

We know what the Lord makes known. We know how He makes it known. It’s the Christmas story. Simply put:

THE LORD MAKES KNOWN HIS FULFILLED WORD.

He fulfilled His promises to send a Savior. It was made known through angels and shepherds. Mary treasured it for us so that we would know. It may not always be what we want to know, but we repent of that. The Lord makes known His fulfilled Word. Not just 2,000 years ago, but today—this Christmas day! The Gospel has a preacher. The Lord’s Gifts have a deliverer. That’s the Lord’s promise. He always keeps them. He always fulfills His Word.

What we would want to know passes away. The Lord’s Word and promises never fail. They never come up short. He makes that known to us.

THE LORD MAKES KNOWN HIS FULFILLED WORD.

Jesus was born. Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus rose. Jesus preaches. Jesus baptizes. Jesus absolves. Jesus bodies and bloods. That’s His message. That’s how it’s delivered. That’s what He’s making known to you, and it’s all fulfilled for you this Christmas day.

“Unto us Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” INI + AMEN.

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