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Restoring Our Humanity!

December 25, 2017

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The Nativity of Our Lord                    Trinity Lutheran Church

25 December 2017                               Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

John 1:1-14

 

Remarkable! The heart and essence of Christmas is the Incarnation. The Feast of Christmas is what the Evangelist preaches: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” The eternal Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, begotten of the Father from eternity is born as a human being! God become man!

 

The Word through whom light shined into darkness, through whom the sea, sky and dry land were separated – the Word through whom plants, birds, fish, and animals were made “became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Jesus is the One in whose image man and woman were created. This Jesus is the One through whom all creation is blessed and held together.

 

Remarkable! Jesus, the Lord of the universe sets aside His royal robes and exchanges them for a set of diapers. He who perfectly reflects the glory of God the Father and bears the very stamp of His nature – who upholds the universe by His Word – takes on human flesh and bones. The Infinite becomes the finite. The Eternal breaks into time. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, God rolled up His sleeves and bared His right arm in the sight of all the nations. What the nations saw with their eyes was a tiny Baby lying in a Bethlehem manger. St. Paul preached the incarnation this way: “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” and “in Him [Jesus] the whole fullness of the deity dwells bodily.”

 

But there’s more. Jesus takes on flesh and dwells among us in order to do a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday. To offer His slaughtered Body and to pour out His divine Blood on the altar of the cross as the one and only atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world!

 

And what sin He atoned for! Our sin is the old Adamic desire and ambition to be like God! Not content to live as a creature but as if we are the Creator. Not satisfied to live by faith in God and in His Word, but as if we are little divinities and that our words are infallible and divine. We want to be the center of the universe. To assert ourselves over God and kick in the teeth of anyone who gets in our little divinity ways and words. What idolatrous sin! How inhuman! Not life but death! Eternal death.

 

How hellaciously deceived we were. Falsely believing that we are God. Falsely believing that our unbelief, coveting, killing, adultery, drunkenness, lying, stealing and greed were “just part of being human.” “To err is human” we say. No! To err is not human! To sin is inhuman! Unhuman! Sin dehumanizes us. It makes us less than human. Sin is a foreign object, a cancer, a toxin that has seeped into our human nature and polluted it. It drives us to despair and death.

 

Thanks be to God that He has mercy on us! Praise God that He sent His Son Jesus to take on flesh and to dwell among us in order to do a Good Friday atonement! The salvation job has been done! You are redeemed. Atoned for! By Jesus the Word made flesh!

 

The crucified and risen Jesus has given you new birth! Holy Baptism! Baptism is the “washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3). The old has passed away. The new has come. Born from above. Born again. You are a new creation. New creation in the New Testament is spelled F-A-I-T-H in Word made flesh Jesus.

 

Faith. Given to you by the Lord and Giver of Life the Holy Spirit Himself through the Word of the gospel that preaches Savior Jesus. Faith. Faith in Jesus. Now your humanity has been restored. Recovered. Saved. Why? Because now you’re content to be a redeemed and atoned for sinful creature by the Creator that took on flesh and dwelt among us. Or as St. Paul puts it in Romans 1: “the just live by faith.”

 

Today, more of living by faith as you eagerly desire to eat and drink Christ’s Body and Blood in the Sacrament. To be given to. To trust His promise that it is “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Such faith is having your humanity restored – living as a human being – a creature — until the resurrection of the body on the Last Day.

 

Happy believing only in Jesus for salvation.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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