Summary: Christmas Day (B) The babe in the manger is the Word Incarnate, by and through Whom God has spoken and is speaking to us and the whole world.
May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
“A Word Heard round the World”
“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord.” Last night we heard this word of God from the Christmas angels. The word heard by the shepherds in their fields, and carried by them into Bethlehem, and told to all who would listen. The birth of our Savior has spread from those shepherd’s fields, to Bethlehem, to Jerusalem, to Judea, Samaria, and throughout the world. It has spread so much and so far, that most of the world measures time by the words of those angels.
This is Christmas Day, 2014. Or 2014, A.D. to be more precise. A.D. representing the Latin words, Anno Domini, the Year of Our Lord. The entire world measures it’s calendar from the words of the Angel, “Born to you, this day, a Savior.” It is a word heard 'round the world.
But what about before, in the B.C., before Christ, before Christmas? What words did we hear then? The author of the Hebrews answers this question for us in our Epistle reading, saying, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets.” You know of this, of course. God spoke to Adam and Eve in Garden of Eden, with the promise of a Redeemer, a promise spoke to Eve, saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen.3:15). But from then on, God rarely spoke directly to His people. People did not hear the Word of the Lord from God Himself. God spoke directly to His prophets, but, as it states in our text, He “spoke to our fathers (that is, to the people) by the prophets.”
Prophets like His great servant Moses. To the world it looked like Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But through Moses, God spoke. He told Moses to tell the people, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
Or like His great prophet Isaiah, who said, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14).
Or the prophet Micah, who declared, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are least among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” (Micah 5:2).
And so the Word of the Lord came to Israel. But always through the prophets. More of the unfolding of that first promise of God in Eden. Bit by bit. A little bit here. A little bit there. The prophets spoke the truth. They spoke the Word of the Lord. They were to be believed. Oh, but Oh to hear from God Himself.
That first Christmas Eve, the Angel of the Lord declared the birth of the Messiah, and the choir of angels sang of His birth. The shepherds who heard the message told it to all. But the loudest and greatest word from God that day was not the news of the Herald Angel, or the Hymn of the Angelic choir. It was not even the message spread throughout all the land by the shepherds. The loudest word spoken that first Christmas Morn was by the One who spoke no word, but is The Word. The Word made Flesh, and in a manger lying.
This infant is not just a baby in presumably somewhat unusual circumstances, in a manger. This infant is not just a miracle baby – born of a virgin – though He certainly was that. This baby boy was God Himself. “For the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35). God was speaking to His people by His Son. What did word did God speak by His Son? Our Lord said, “He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives.” The Good News which shall be for all people. That Lord was bringing us – you, me, the world – out of the house of bondage to sin and death. He spoke to us by His Son when He said, “It is finished.” He spoke to us by His Son, who said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
God sent His Son because of love. Actions speak louder than words. God did not merely say, “I love you.” He sent His Son Jesus. Jesus did not just say, “I love you.” He suffered, died, and rose again. In His life, by His life, His death and resurrection, He spoke to us God’s Word of Life. The Life that is life indeed.