“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.” (John 1:14, ESV)
Merry Christmas! Christ is born. God became man. God wanted to be with man, to be near to each of us or even nearer—to be in us. The Apostle Paul says, “Christ lives in me” and Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is within you.” Christ is born. God became man for a purpose as He wanted us to receive the main Christmas gift—being able to be with God and have eternal life.
Unfortunately, in today’s world where happiness and wellbeing is often associated only with economy, even in these wonderful winter days it’s pretty easy to end up without the main Christmas gift, to miss out on this wonderful blessing which the Lord gives as a gift to all people on earth. Nothing changes in this world. 500 years ago, in one of his Christmas sermons Martin Luther said, “There is a crass insult to God, which is that people glorify money, possessions, etc. On Christmas, they sing and speak of the Baby Jesus, but they despise Him when they forget about God and hold to the mammon.”
Why does this happen? As they sing hymns about the Baby, say greetings, and give each other Christmas gifts, why do people sometimes end up without the main Christmas gift? For the angel called it “great joy that will be for all the people.” Why does this happen? Luther continues and gives us the answer, “Because sometimes people do not understand what they sing or speak about. What are they lacking then? You see, the preacher’s pulpit has fallen, which is supposed to open people’s eyes and awaken them with the Word, so that the person may understand what they hear, read or sing.”
The Nativity is the incarnation of God’s Word on this earth. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” And the Church of Christ is called to proclaim this Word of God here on earth. It’s in the Church where we can hear about the true meaning of Christmas for each one of us. Christ was born on earth, and it took Joseph and Mary a long time to find a place for Him to be born. It’s necessary to find a place for the true birth also today. That place is where the Gospel is proclaimed. That place is where the Sacraments of Christ are administered. That place is the Church. Many people today say it’s not very comfortable there and they’d like to see many things changed there. They’re absolutely right. However, the Lord, too, was not born in a palace, but in a small manger, among animals. But He sanctified that manger with His presence, elevating it above all earthly palaces. As they believed the angels’ testimony, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the Baby Christ. Let us, too, hurry to the church in this joyful time, hurry to the assembly of believers, hurry to open Holy Scripture in order not to miss out on this marvelous Christmas gift—being able to be with God and inherit eternal life, and make this wonderful Baby known to others after we find Him, so that the Lord may be truly born in many more hearts.
Greetings to you from my heart on this wonderful joyful feast! May the Lord bless your homes and families! May the Lord remove all our fears and our despair and shine the light of His love on us! Merry Christmas!