A Sermon for Christmas Day
Isaiah 52:7–10 • Psalm 98 • Hebrews 1:1–4, (5–12) • John 1:1-14
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet
of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news, who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
— Isaiah 52:7
God Entered the World Quietly
Well, today’s the day, the day we’ve been waiting for, the day we’ve been preparing for, the day we’ve been anticipating, the day of our Lord and Savior’s birth…. Well, not exactly. Because the birth happened last night; it happened in the middle of the night while we were sleeping. We missed it; the whole world missed it, save for a few shepherds who received an angelic birth announcement.
You see, God entered the world quietly. God didn’t want the world to know he had arrived. But not even God could keep a secret, not this secret, not when it came to the birth of his only Son. God just had to tell somebody. And look who he chose: some homeless guys who lived out of doors, who worked at a job that nobody wanted, and who nobody was going to believe anyway. And so, God’s little secret is safe, for the time being at least.
But why would God want to keep his arrival on earth a secret?... Because God didn’t want to frighten us away. You see, something is wrong with us; something inside of us is broken. And that something is something only God can fix. But here’s the dilemma. That something which is broken in us also makes us terrified of God, so terrified that God has a hard time getting close enough to heal us with his gracious and loving presence.