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Christmas Eve December 24th 2006 Old Zion Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, PA.

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Christmas Eve December 24th 2006 Old Zion Lutheran Church
Philadelphia, PA. Text: Luke 2:1-20

 

We are in the longest nights of the year and in these nights we gather together in our families, very close, share gifts, and sing about the Light of the World and the birth of that Light, which lets us see the way of life, the way we should go.

     I remember once, Nora and I were way up, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire: it could have been up on Mt. Chocorua, and we were going to set up camp, but we had run out of water. We heard a stream below us, so we took only our water bottles and descended below the ridge to fill them. We hadn’t gotten very far, when the night just dropped down over us. It was getting cold and within minutes, we could not see a thing, let alone the way back to the camp. We became very frightened and thought we would have to spend the night exposed to all the elements. I remember trying to rub sticks together for a fire, because we didn’t even have our matches. Suddenly the moon came out, and its light sparkled on the little tin markers on the trees, and we could trace the trail back to the camp in the moonlight.

     This world is lost in the darkness and very frightened, for the most part. You and I are lost in the darkness, because a thick darkness covers a godless, heartless, and violent place we call our world; and then the Light of God came. God said, “Let there be light and there was light!” God sent us the light in which we see light. Jesus Christ was born and to Mary, by faith, to fulfill all the promises of the prophets, and “the hopes and fears of all the years” now become answered as we draw close with Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds tonight. The radiance around this little child, in its life from the cradle to the cross, throws ample light on our path and the way we should go.

     Luther said, “The virgin birth is a mere trifle for God. That God became human is a greater miracle. But the most amazing thing of all is that this maiden should believe, attribute belief to the announcement that she, rather than some other virgin, had been chosen to be the mother of God. The hardest point is not so much to believe that he is the son of a virgin and of God himself, as to believe that this Son of God is ours!”

     Let’s go back to “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and let’s be champions of faith in the way of our dear mother Mary and say, “Lord Jesus Christ, cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today!”

     Then “we’ll hear the Christmas angels their great glad tidings tell,” because in Christmas, as we gather together to share love and righteousness and our renewed devotion to the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, Christ has been born in the cradle of our hearts. What good is Christmas, what good is it, if Christ was born a thousand times, if Christ has not been born by faith in our hearts?

     So get some straw, throw something together; there is no time, the baby is coming. Light that stable lamp in your heart, go through, endure the holy birth and after the labor, the contractions, that we men pretend to know so much about, forget all about the suffering, and gaze with Christmas mirth upon our holy birth, the gifts of our new selves for Christmas, that bring joy to the world, because the Word of God, the baby Jesus, has become a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path! Merry Christmas. Amen.

Pastor Peter Krey

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Written by peterkrey

December 22, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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