Wednesday, December 25, 2019 – Christmas Day

December 25, 2019  

Christmas Day 2019

Our Savior’s La Crosse

Luke 2:8-20


There was a man and a woman in a stable behind an inn.

They had a baby that the woman wrapped in bands of cloth. She laid him in a manger.

Pretty ordinary stuff.

Or was it? How many women gave birth to their babies in stables? How many babies were laid in mangers?

I have no idea.

Rather than ordinary, perhaps I should say the birth was basic. Everything was stripped down to the most basic necessities. Two parents. A baby. Cloths to wrap the baby in. A place to lay the baby for it to sleep. A roof over the family’s head. There wasn’t much more than that, at least according to what Luke wrote.

Then there were shepherds, working at night to protect their sheep from predators. Their work was ordinary. Basic.

What happened next was anything but basic, anything but ordinary.

An angel appeared in the sky.

The angel’s appearance was sudden, it was bright, and it was terrifying.

The angel spoke to the shepherds, bringing the shepherds “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

A Savior was born, the angel said.

The messiah, the Lord.

The angel told the shepherds where to find the newborn baby, and then the angel was joined by a “multitude of the heavenly host” (Luke 2:13).

Again, it happened suddenly.

Suddenly, the multitude was saying

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace…” (Luke 2:14).

The shepherds went to Bethlehem. The shepherds found Mary and

Joseph and their baby. The shepherds told Mary and Joseph what the angel had said about their baby boy.

Luke tells us “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

The shepherds’ words were a lot to ponder. For Mary. For us.

Every day Jesus comes to us.

Every day Jesus is born in our hearts.

Every day Jesus arrives, in our hearts and in our minds, silently slipping into our world of joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures.

Jesus enters our lives and fills us.

We are ordinary people. The presence of Jesus in our hearts and minds, in our daily lives, is a brilliance of love, grace, forgiveness, and peace.

This is good news.

This is glorious.

In his own Christmas sermon the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther wrote that Christ took our birth from us and absorbed it into his own, making us pure and holy. He wrote that this occurred so that we might “rejoice and glory in Christ’s birth as much as if [we ourselves] had been born of Mary” (“Christmas Day” in Sermons of Martin Luther volume 1, Baker Book House Press, 1988, p. 144).

And so this morning we celebrate that Jesus was born.

We celebrate that Jesus was born, knowing that because of his birth, on this and every day, we are born again.