Summary: A sermon for Christmas Eve.
“God Is Here”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer,
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life,
and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
This passage from John is one of the summits of all Scripture...
...in fact the importance of these truths lie at the very foundation of life!
Jesus Christ is the Word of God Who is eternal--He has always existed, Jesus Christ is the Creator of all
things, and Jesus Christ is the very essence of Life itself...
...and without Him, humankind will remain lost in the darkness forever!
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One
and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word of God, the Creator of Life, the Very Being and Essence of Life.....God’s Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ became flesh and blood; He became one of us.
No greater message could ever be proclaimed!!!
And look how it happened!!!
About the time Mary was due to have her Son, she and Joseph had to travel eighty miles to Bethlehem for
This was for military and tax purposes.
The records from this census are still in existence.
Bethlehem was crowded and they had to stay where the poor people who didn’t have relatives often had to
stay...in an animal stable.
There were little stalls where Mary and Joseph stayed...these accomodations were crude at best!
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.”
These shepherds were often despised by the wealthy, the rulers of the day.
They were, no doubt, simple men of the outdoors.
And yet these lowly shepherds were the ones to hear the good news first!
And when they heard the good news, they went into Bethlehem and were the first to worship the Christ!
Interesting how God works....
...throughout His ministry Jesus made it clear that the humble---those who knew they were sinners...
...the tax collectors...
were entering the kingdom of God first!
How often do we thumb our noses at people such as these?
He said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich person....
....a person who loves their riches more than Christ to enter the kingdom of God.
He said that whoever loves their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for His sake will gain it.
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in
the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
We do live in the land of the shadow of death. Darkness surrounds us.
As we sit here this evening, our nation stands on the brink of war....
....as we gather around our Christmas trees, others huddle shivering in the darkness without a home....
....as we open our gifts and watch the Rose Bowl Parade, others live in squalors....unable to feed their
children...unable to get ahead no matter how many minimum wage jobs they work!...
....and to all of us comes temptations, lusts, evil desires, moral failures, emotional pain, disease, loss
We are all sinners, and the wages of sin is death!
Do we love our sin and death enough to forfeit God’s salvation which He offers to all of us---free of
charge---through His Son?
On CBS News a man named Al Copeland in New Orleans had millions of lights in his front yard for
Many of us may think: “How beautiful!”
Then it’s reported that the neighbors are suing him for disturbing the peace.
Isn’t this how it is with the light of Christ?
When we really let it shine, those who prefer the darkness will always complain and try to extinguish
E. Stanley Jones has told a story about a little boy who stood looking at a picture of his father who was
away....out at sea.
Then he turned to his mother and said, “I wish Father would step out of the picture.”
That little boy expressed, in his own way, the deepest hope of those who are living in miserable
darkness....and are hungry...ever so hungry... for the light of Christ!
Oh, for a warm heart in this universe! If only the Father would step out of the picture....
....but listen, listen....