“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
In the Name of Jesus, the Son of God. Amen.
So insignificantly, lowly, and humbly did Christ enter the world. Hardly did the world at all take notice. Yet angels sang and the heavens rejoiced (Luke 2:13). Mere shepherds went to Bethlehem to see that which the Lord made to pass by the announcement of the angel, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
If such record had not appeared in Holy Scripture, who would believe it—that God became flesh through the womb of a virgin, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit? That God did become flesh, though without any sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15), is truly an article of faith. Yet, this God-man Jesus became sin for us, for you, that you “might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Few believe such Good News today because they do not want such a Savior as the One whom God sent. They want a savior of their own making. But such a man-made savior does not save, nor will the vapor of false confidences remain. Only One truly delivers from sin, death, and the devil. This is none other than the Jesus Christ born of the Virgin and even laid in a manger; the Jesus Christ who was laid on the cross to bear our sin.
There, too, on the cross, Jesus did not look like much of a Savior. But there, on the cross, is where all your sins died, with Christ’s death. Yet He, approved by God, rose the third day. In the grave your sins remained. Yet He triumphed over death and the grave, and gives eternal life to all who believe this.
Insignificantly, lowly, and humbly does Christ come into the world still. Through Word preached, Holy Baptism, and the Holy Supper of our Lord, Christ Jesus comes to you to give you life and salvation. Indeed, these means and gifts of God mean little to the world. But they do not lose their power because of that. Nor do they lose their effectiveness because few believe and doubt. They are effective because God Himself works through them, though the world deny such great blessings. And they remain the very means by which God calls, gathers, and enlightens the Christian church on earth.
For now, this church appears as insignificant, lowly, and humbly as Christ did. Yet as Christ comes again in all of His glory, so also will His bride be revealed in all her glory, which is Christ’s.
The Lord richly bless you this Time of Christmas as you rejoice in the gift of your Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen.
Lord Jesus, as you came into the world, being laid in the manger low,
So greater faith and courage on me bestow,
That I may believe in Your Holy Word each and every day,
And not at all doubt whatever you say.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for dwelling on my sight
And for walking in the uncertainty of night.
Grant me an ever firmer trust and confidence that is daring and bold,
With a confession that is courageous and a heart that is neither lukewarm nor cold.
Lord Jesus, keep me in the holy and true faith and doctrine to the end,
And open my ears to gladly hear and believe the messengers whom you send,
For they speak of Jesus, who lived, died, and rose the third day,
To save me from my lawlessness and for all my sins to pay.
Give me joy and blessing this Christmas Tide and season
And bring me to live only by faith in Your Word above human reason,
For the world and its ways are corrupt and have an end,
Yet Your ways are holy and just, and my ways You transcend.