Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Nails, Spear, and Peace

Sermon on Luke 2:1-20
For Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Elmwood Park, WI
December 24, 2014 (The Nativity of our Lord)

“Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me, for you.  Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary.”  Not the sort of love, peace, and joy that you normally hear about at this time of year, is it?  But that’s really what we’re here for.  The baby born in Bethlehem is the Savior, Christ the Lord.  But what does it mean to be the Savior?  It means taking the effects of our sin upon Himself.  It means death, because that’s the wages of sin.  God came to earth, yes, but He came to die.  Tonight has meaning precisely because of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Many times during Jesus’ ministry He reminded His disciples of this.  And just as many times they failed to understand what He meant.  Mary, who treasured all these things up in her heart, would live to see it all happen.  The shepherds came to worship, not just a baby, but the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep.  The angels sang of peace on earth, but that peace came at the price of the cross.  We celebrate the birth of our Savior, but His salvation is from sin, death, and hell, by means of His taking our place.  Christmas doesn’t mean anything without Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

But because He was born, lived, died, and rose again for us, we really do have peace with God now.  All the things which go wrong because of sin in the world are now no longer permanent because He took these things upon Himself.  We celebrate His birth because the angels in heaven now can celebrate our eternal birth into His kingdom in Holy Baptism.  We rejoice with them because He was born to save us.  Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria +

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