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The Word Became Flesh! (John 1:1-14) Nativity of Our Lord-Christmas Day

December 25, 2011

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The Nativity of Our Lord:  Christmas Day                                           Trinity Lutheran Church

25 December 2011                                                                                          Murdock, NE


+Jesu Juva +


St. John 1:1-14


The Word.  That’s Jesus.  And He’s the eternal Son of God.  Been there from the beginning and beyond.  And through the Word Jesus all things were made.  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life.”


Word Jesus was there in the beginning doing all the God stuff.  The Father speaks:  “Let there be light.  Let there be this.  Let there be that.”  And the Word the Father speaks is Jesus Himself.  And with Word Jesus is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit and Word Jesus always go together.  As the Father speaks His “Let there be …” Word Jesus is at work along with the Spirit who is the Lord and Giver of life through Word Jesus.


In the beginning was the Word.  Word God Jesus!  The eternally begotten divine Son of the Father.  “Begotten of His Father before all worlds,” as the Nicene Creed puts it.  “God of God, Light of light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.”   


Let there be no mistake.  Word Jesus is God!  The Second Person of the Holy Trinity.   Everything is just fine and dandy.  But wait!  He does the unthinkable.  The unimaginable!  The most audacious!  God Word Jesus takes on flesh and dwells among us! 


That’s pretty dicey!  He takes some big risks here!  This opens up Eternal-Word-God-Jesus to all our rot, gunk, and filth of this messy, messed up world!  By doing this it opens up Eternal-Word-God-Jesus to being rejected!  All kinds of naughty people could say “No!” to Him!  Push Him around a little.  And if they really wanted to – betray Him, deny Him, arrest Him, kangaroo court Him, and then murder Him – all with the excuse that that is what’s best!  What kind of God would ever do that?  Allah sure doesn’t.  But Eternal-Word-God-Jesus does!


And we did it!  We, like King Herod, don’t want rivals.  We like being little gods!  And so first we get rid of preacher John the Baptist.  Make him shorter by a head!  And then we get rid of Jesus!  We shouted:  “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!”  And if we could have, we would have shoved the Roman soldiers out of the way.  We would have taken the sledgehammer in our hands and pounded those spikes as hard as we could!  Making sure that troublemaker Jesus would never bother us again!  Never interrupt our lives ever again!


And yet He does!  He did!  Eternal-Word-God-Jesus opens Himself up to such wickedness by taking on flesh!  He insists on it.  He won’t have it any other way!  He will deal with sinners in this way:  “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” 


That’s Christmas!  That’s Bethlehem!  Eternal, without beginning and without end God Word Jesus takes on flesh.  He comes to you!  You don’t go to Him!  You don’t become God!  God becomes man!  And He comes all the way down.  Incarnated!  Enfleshed!  Fully human and fully God in one person!  Conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Born of the Virgin Mary.


The Creator of the universe becomes creature in this Baby Jesus.   He sets aside His royal robes and exchanges them for a bunch of diapers.  Eternal Word God Jesus – who reflects perfectly the glory of the Father and bears the very stamp of His nature — takes on fingers, toes, hair, a brain, lungs, stomach, a heart, and a spleen.  The Infinite becomes the finite!  The Eternal breaks into time!  In Baby Jesus God rolls up His sleeves and bares His right arm for all the nations to see.  And what do the nations see?  A tiny Baby lying in a manger.  Nursing at the Virgin’s breast.  Cuddled in her arms.  In this Baby “all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form,” (Col. 1).    


God Word Jesus takes on our human nature (without the stain or taint of sin) in order to SAVE sinners!  That’s the whole point!  The Incarnation is not some lark of a vacation from heaven.  God Word Jesus dwells among us to save us! 


God is not angry with you!  Really, He’s not.  If He were, He would never have taken on your flesh and blood.  He would never have become a man born of the Virgin.  Again the Nicene Creed confesses it all faithfully:  “who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary AND WAS MADE MAN.”


And “was made man.”  That’s the good news of John 1:14!  God dwells among sinners in order to redeem them!


How?  By taking all your sin in His Body!  And then carrying it all to Calvary in order to be damned as the Sinner in your place.  Word God Jesus who knew no sin was made to be sin (2 Cor. 5:21).  He was cursed and condemned (Gal. 3:13).  All your sin is His!  All your hell is His!  God Word Jesus dies your death!  This is why “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”


And He still dwells among us sinners.  “Lo I am with you always,” (Matt. 28:20).  The crucified and risen Word-made-flesh-for-sinners-Jesus promises that all your sin is forgiven.  Where?  In the Sacrament of the Altar.  He speaks.  He gives.  His born of the Virgin Mary, Good Friday and Easter Sunday Body and His Blood to you!  “Given and shed for you,” He says, “for the forgiveness of your sins.” 


Gives His precious divine Body and Blood into your mouths – your bodies.  Dwells in you!  Becomes one with you.  That you may enter into great glory.  That your flesh and blood, skin and hair, hands and feet, stomach and back will reside in heaven as He does.  So that you can boldly defy the devil or whatever evil assails you.  For bodied and bloodied with the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Sacrament your entire bodies belong in heaven as heirs of heaven’s kingdom.  And that will take place on the Last Day when Jesus reveals Himself in glory and raises your bodies from the grave.  Christmas consummated!  The “so what” of the Eternal-Word-God-Jesus becoming flesh and making His dwelling among us.


Have a joyous Christmas Day! 


In the Name of Jesus.

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