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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sermon 12242012 Midnight Christmas Eve Service

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray! Grant we ask You Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only begotten Son in the flesh, Jesus Christ may set us free who are held in bondage under the yoke of sin.  For the multitude of angels and the heavenly hosts heralded His birth in the city of David, Bethlehem.  May we come on bended knee, welcome Him and thank Him for His entrance into the World for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this Christmas Eve Night.  AMEN.

When we look to the manger scene and see the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying there, so innocent He was and would remain sinless for His entire life.  Jesus came and was born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn.  Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords did not enter with the sound of human trumpets like the King of England or the Pope in Rome or the President of the United States, but Jesus entrance into the world was heralded with the multitude of heavenly hosts proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”.  This great host of angels heralded the single greatest miracle of all of creation.  It was the proclamation of the fulfillment of the prophets of the Old Testament of the birth of the Savior of the World.

Jesus birth, unlike any other birth was where God came down from heaven and took on human flesh.  Without sin, Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary and became truly human.  This was to fulfill the plan of salvation for all of mankind that we confess in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creed.  Jesus birth was the beginning of His earthly journey that would show His divinity by His miracles and His humanity by His emotions, care and compassion for the disciples and the people He encountered.  Jesus Christ in taking on human form, entered into this world with a sole destination, initially as He rode in His mother’s womb upon the ass or beast of burden, His destination was Bethlehem where He was born, but ultimately it was Golgotha perched between two criminals hanging on the Cross.  Jesus Christ Who we look to in the manger tonight, came in order to take our sins upon Himself, not only our sins, but our sickness, our hurts, our pains and especially anything that hurts us in mind, body or spirit.  In, through and by Jesus Christ simple action of humble obedience and beginnings in the manger and ultimately by His sacrifice on Calvary for all of mankind Jesus Christ offers all of us life and salvation.

Tonight as we come to receive His precious Body and Blood from the altar of our Lord, we receive another of the great mysteries of our faith.  Through Jesus innocent sacrifice, we remember in our receipt of His Body and Blood His great sacrifice on Calvary.  We remember Jesus Christ great love for us manifest in His offering us life and salvation.  We remember Jesus Christ offer of forgiveness of sins for us.  We remember this all begins with a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and laying in a manger because there was no room in the inn.  We hear this clearly from the angels and the multitude of heavenly hosts saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”.

Tonight we come on bended knee in front of the manger to receive the ultimate Christmas present.  It isn’t an iPad, a computer game, a new car or television, removal of sickness or disease from our family or friends or even jewelry that we wear on our fingers, necks or ears, but we receive the gift of life and salvation found in, by and through Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood broken and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. This is the ultimate Christmas present offered for us that is bound in swaddling cloths and lying in the manger.  For this present is offered to us and heralded for us by the angels and multitude of heavenly hosts.  This present is offered for all of mankind, but especially all of us who are gathered here at Emmanuel this evening with our receipt of Jesus Christ Body and Blood for life, salvation and the forgiveness of sins for all of us saints gathered here this Christmas Eve nights.  AMEN.
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