Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
INI + AMEN.
Infant holy, Infant lowly, For His bed a cattle stall. Oxen lowing, Little knowing Christ the child is Lord of all. (LSB 393:1)
That’s what happened. We know the story. Heard it last night from the children. We heard it this morning, too. “The decree went out” that “all the world should be taxed.” So, Joseph also went up with Mary, too. She was great with child. That child is holy—the Holy One of Israel! But certainly “lowly.” Subject to Rome. Subject to taxes. Born just like you and me. Manger, feed trough for that child’s bed. Cows. Oxen. Messy. That’s what happened. But why?
Swiftly winging, Angels singing, Bells are ringing, Tiding bringing: Christ the child is Lord of all! Christ the child is Lord of all!” (LSB 393:1)
That’s what happened. Angels showed up. Big fan fair for such a lowly looking child. Shouldn’t expect anything less, though. “Christ the LORD” was born “in the city of David.” The LORD, Yahweh in the flesh. “Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” That’s what happened. Really did. But why?
Flocks were sleeping, Shepherds keeping Vigil till the morning new. Saw the glory, Heard the story, Tidings of a Gospel true. Thus rejoicing, Free from sorrow, Praises voicing, Greet the morrow.” (LSB 393:2)
That’s what happened. The angels didn’t stay in heaven. We’re not told about some prophetic vision of heaven. No, “an angel of the Lord appeared” and “suddenly a great army of the heavenly host” was there, too. Where? Nearby field. They came to shepherds The shepherds heard and went to see what they’d been told. They found it just like the angel said: “Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” Then they went back to their field rejoicing. That all happened, too. But why? Yes, why?
Luke 2 all happened. Augustus was the emperor of Rome. “Quirinius was governor of Syria.” There was a tax. Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem. “Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” “Infant holy, infant lowly.” But why?
There were shepherds and the angel. There was the army of angels. There was the midnight trip to Bethlehem. They rejoiced on their way back. Mary treasured up all that happened. Luke records what she treasured up for us—all that happened. But why?
You’re here. But Why? Why are you here? Is it just tradition? Is it just habit? Were you guilted into coming? Forced to come? Why here? Why now? Why any of it?
It’s not just about the cute baby. Not just that the angels show up. It’s not even first of all that “Christ the child is Lord of all.” All that’s true. But it’s more—so much more than that! It’s the “tidings of a Gospel true.” It’s what the angel said, “Today, in the city of David, a Savior was born FOR YOU. He is Christ, the LORD.” And not just for shepherds. FOR YOU! “Christ the child was born for you! Christ the child was born for you!” (LSB 393:2)
Yes, CHRIST THE CHILD WAS BORN FOR YOU! For each one of you. The Lord God Himself took up flesh and blood because He needed to. You needed Him to. I did, too. He is “Savior.” Savior for you. Born for you. “Peace on earth” for you. Grew up for you. Lived for you. “Suffered under Pontius Pilate” for you. ”Was crucified, died, and was buried” for you. Body and blood for you, too.
That’s the why! The why of everything! Why was Augustus emperor and Quirinius governor right then, right there? Why shepherds in that field? Why Mary? Why Jospeh? Why Bethlehem? Why Pontius Pilate? Why are you right here, right now? This moment? This morning? The answer’s the same for all these questions: CHRIST THE CHILD WAS BORN FOR YOU! To die for you. To rise for you. To deliver Himself to you today. To put His Word in your ears, His Gospel in your heart, His body and blood into your mouth for your forgiveness.
That’s why you’re really here. What other reason could there be? There is no other “why” than CHRIST THE CHILD WAS BORN FOR YOU! He is still FOR YOU. Always will be.
INI + AMEN.