December 25, 2003: Christmas Day 2003

Let us pray: Dear Savior, today we celebrate Your holy birth. Today we join with the saints and angels in singing Your praise—all because You became one of us! All because You came to us in simplicity and humbleness in order to give to us Your eternal love. On this holy day You did the impossible!—In You the infinite took on finiteness, the immortal took on mortality, and Almighty God chose to be diapered and held. This Christmas and every Christmas warm our hearts with the glorious truth that in You, love truly did come down at Christmas! Amen

TEXT: Titus 3: 4-7: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might we become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

Fellow Redeemed Sinners Made Clean By The Innocent Christ-Child:
Nothing Can Match the Majesty of Christmas! Christmas is about legions of angels appearing in the skies and singing praise to their Lord. Christmas is about God keeping His promise to send us a Savior—a promise repeated throughout the 7000 years between Adam and Eve and that fateful evening in Bethlehem. Christmas is about hearts touched and people changed in an instant—think of the shepherds, the wise men, Mary and Joseph. Christmas is about God agreeing to leave heaven, come to earth, and being born in a humble manger. Christmas is about the infinite majesty of God which even heaven cannot contain, being contained in the frail confines of a tiny Baby Boy. Yes, Christmas is about our timeless God agreeing to be bound by time, and to grow up and walk on this planet that He created until that fateful day when He would lay down His life to save our souls. St. Paul sums it up quite well when he writes to Titus: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

In our prayers we often ask God to hold us and to keep us safe. And certainly that is a beautiful and comforting thought, isn’t it? But Christmas teaches us that we get to hold God in our arms! It teaches us that we frail humans actually get to comfort and keep God’s Son safe in our arms as He fills our souls with joy and wonder. Christmas teaches the profundity of true giving which is total self-sacrifice. Thus, if you lay our presents, our decorations, and our holiday cheer alongside the timeless love of Christ for us, well, there is no comparison, is there?

No other religious holiday of any religion in the world even comes close to the majesty of Christmas and its final culmination: Easter. For no other religion celebrates the Supernatural becoming natural and dwelling among us in love to buy back our eternal souls from sin and death. Yet, it is for that very reason that part of me is a little sad each Christmas. How so? Well, I’m saddened that most people are missing out on true joy today. I’m saddened that for most Christmas is about toys, presents, family time, a festive meal, and time off work instead of about honoring the King of kings and Lord of lords. I’m saddened that so many miss church on Christmas. It’s like having a birthday party in which most of the guests choose to ignore and bypass the guest of honor in favor of spending time with someone else.

Well, you have chosen otherwise! You have chosen to come and honor Christ on His holy birthday. You have chosen to do so because His kindness and love have inflamed your hearts. You have chosen to do so because “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” You have chosen to do so because His birthday gift to you is the certain hope of eternal life.

I’ve often thought that later in life those shepherds must have wished they could go back in time to drink it all in once more. I’ve often wished that I could have been there to hear the angel choirs and to see with my own eyes the infant Christ-Child. But instead of all that, God has provided me with Christmas—a time to celebrate the birthday of my King! A time of ponder my relationship with God and to draw comfort from the fact that He has made me right with God through His undeserved love. So, instead of dwelling on the neglect of others and letting such neglect dim my joy, I’m mindful that Nothing Can Match The Majesty of Christmas! And so, on this holy day, I know that there is no better place to be than right here, right now—with Christ in my heart! Amen