Summary: Christmas Day Sermon that focuses on the deity of Jesus Christ, with the words of "What Child Is This" for accappella singing.
John 1:1-14 (NIV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 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.
My dear friends in Christ,
“He’s only a child!” When we hear this phrase, what do we think of? We can think of great expectations being made of one who is too young to fulfill those expectations. We can think of a five year old boy given the keys to the car and expected to drive. As he sits on the seat, his legs are not long enough to reach the pedals. When he slides off the seat to reach the pedals, he is not tall enough to see out the window. The steering wheel is too big for him, and, no matter how hard he turns the wheel, he can’t make it go one direction or another. Even if he were to get the car out on the road somehow, he wouldn’t know the rules for driving, nor where he is going, nor how to get there. After all, he’s only a child.
When you and I look in the manger, what do we see? Luke leads us to see this humble child of lowly birth. He’s not born in a king’s palace nor in a rich man’s home. He’s not laid in a nice infant bed or even in a crib at a hotel. He’s not surrounded by doctors and nurses monitoring his every need.
This child is born in a stable, perhaps no more than a cave, where animals, not people, are kept. This child is laid in a manger, from which the owner recently fed his animals. This child is attended to only by his parents. Later on, some shepherds drop by, but they are more suited for caring for sheep than attending to the needs of a new-born baby. Luke leads us to see this humble child of born in what each one of us may consider far from the most suitable of places. What can come of this child? Who is this child? Why does God’s Word point us to the birth of this child? With the hymn writer, let’s ask the question: What Child Is This?
What child is this who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet With anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring him laud, The babe, the Son of Mary!
What child is this? Through John we learn who this child is. “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.” This child, the Word made flesh, is God. This same child, who sleeps on Mary’s lap, was there at the beginning, when our first parents were created.
Remember what the book of Hebrews tells us about this child? “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV).” This same child, greeted by the angels, is the same one who created those angels. This same child, held by Mary, and seen by shepherds, is the One who spoke and caused them to exist.