Summary: Christmas sermon
What Child is This?
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Isaiah, the prophet looked thru the telescope of prophecy and saw 700 years into the future. He saw three things about our wonderful Lord
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 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.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14The 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.
Today each one of us has come to this Christmas Eve service for many different reasons. Perhaps you have come because you like to sing Christmas carols, or perhaps you have come because you feel obligated to, it’s part of your responsibility or duty to attend a Christmas Eve service, or perhaps you have come because you realize that Christmas is more than just about presents, it is about the birth of Jesus and so you want to honor and worship Jesus, or maybe you just feel some strange tugging on your heart to be here and you are not sure why you’ve come. We come for many reasons, but what I hope we can each take away from tonight as we look at God’s Word is that it doesn’t matter why you are here, as much as it matters what you will do about Christmas every day of your life. God is happy we can be here to celebrate his Son’s birth, but what God is more interested in is what this child means for every day of your life. How does a child born in a manger 2000 years ago change every day of your life?
That’s why we go to John’s gospel to understand what difference this child makes in our life. John doesn’t mess around with a lot of details. No angel visitations, no traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem, no manger scene. Instead he gets right to the point of Christmas and so he summarizes the whole birth story by saying this, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (1:14),” or I like the way the paraphrase of the Bible called the Message says it, “the Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” Jesus is the Word, and what he is telling us is that Jesus, the Word was around long before the child was laid in the manger, in fact he was there in the beginning of time, he was a part of creation, and he even goes so far as to say the Word, Jesus, was God. Jesus is God come in the flesh. This is more than just a human child, he is God come to earth.
God had come in the flesh to walk among us, to experience the same ups and downs we do, the same temptations, the heartbreaks, even to experience a brutal death on a cross. Why would he do this? Why would he leave the splendor of heaven and come to the darkness of earth as a weak human infant named Jesus? The Bible tells us he did this because he loves us that much, he knew that if he didn’t come to earth, we could never experience a truly full and abundant life, we could not walk in the light of his paths, and we could never be adopted as his children. That’s what John tells us here in these verses.