GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, THE WORD MADE FLESH TO SAVE US!
TEXT: John 1: 10: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.”
Dearly Beloved In the Blessed Christ Child:
About 10 days ago I fielded a phone call. My wife’s former boss called to catch up on our news and wish us a blessed Christmas. Debra Ann was out walking the dogs, so I filled in for her. He was interested in how we, and the church, are doing during this pandemic. I did my usual complaining about not being able to read faces during the service due to the masks. Then he asked if and how all this has influenced my preaching. I told him that since Covid I’ve addressed various aspects of: fear. This is an ongoing topic since: sin and death cause fear. Then I added: “But we’ve got the solution.” There was a long, pregnant pause. Then I added: “The solution is: Christmas, Easter, and Christ’s resurrection from the dead, thus freeing us from the source of all fear which is death.” After a bit we finished up our conversation.
Amid all the news of vaccines, Christ’s birth is getting left in the dust. In Europe I’ve read of political leaders telling people that they should all: “Cancel Christmas.” Notice none of them say: “Cancel vaccinations.” Why not? Because they don’t believe Christ’s birth is vital to everyone’s emotional, spiritual, AND physical health. But does not Jesus say: “Man does not live on bread alone, (or on vaccines alone), but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”?
How we have divorced ourselves of that truth! We are comprised of body, soul, and spirit. God has made us whole and complete, and keeps us healthy and strong, through this triune joining of all these aspects of our being. All good cancer doctors know that emotional and spiritual health are vital in keeping the body healthy enough to battle cancer. The same goes for battling covid. That’s why the prayers of the faithful for sick folks are so important. Disease attacks us on many fronts. So we need to battle it on many fronts, as well.
Our modern world is myopic to the extreme. We see a very small slice of reality and think: “That’s all there is.” And so we flounder in life. We look for “big picture” answers, but seldom find them because we’re so short-sighted. But our Almighty God sees the big picture, the total picture. He sees our need for a total solution to life’s troubles. And at Christmas with the birth of His Son, He sends us a Solution. He sends us A Savior who truly is: “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” This myopia of humans is what John addresses in the words of our lesson: “He (Christ) 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.” And so people live in ongoing fear—even over Covid.
The current vaccines are not God’s real Christmas gift—Jesus Christ is! He is the eternal Word of God made flesh to save humans from never-ending fear and death. He’s the One Who gives life and love and hope and joy to God’s people during every circumstance in life’s journey—and then fulfills His promises into eternity. In Him, “we have seen God’s glory full of grace and truth.” Yes, if you don’t want to live in fear any more, look to the manger, see God’s love for you, God’s power and strength meeting you in a humble Baby Who just happens to be the Son of God!
We humans are always looking for quick solutions and easy answers. “Just take a little jab and all this past year’s nightmare will be over.” Is that true? What about mutant strains that will continue to evolve over the years? What about international terror, cancer, heart disease, famine, or any of those horsemen of the Apocalypse? Sin and death with always be with us, until, until Christ’s 2nd coming. But amid all this, never forget that we don’t have to live in fear over any of it because of His 1st coming! Christmas is God’s final solution to it all. And that is why we celebrate, sing carols, and rejoice. You and I are the people John is referring to when he writes: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Yes, the best antidote, the only antidote to fear is: the birth of our Christmas King, Jesus Christ! And that’s why we’re here today. Amen
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH…..
Pastor Thomas H. Fox