CHRISTMAS SERMON 2008
It was a night that seemed like most others. People returned to their homes and were going to their own beds. But not all the people, because for this one family, it was a great trip that they were on, to be taxed for the census of the emperor, and as they had tried to find a place to spend the night, they found that there was no room for them, except in a cave that was used to house and feed some poor sheep and animals.
It was there that the greatest even of all time took place, a birth famous not because of its place, nor the wealth and fame of its family, but because of the one born.
This one had been given many titles by the great prophets of old who fortold his coming: Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Child of the Virgin, But the one title that best describes the child born in the cave of Bethlehem is the title: IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US.
This is what the Apostle Paul notes so beautifully in his letter which we hear this night:
“When the fulness of time was come God sent forth his son, born of a woman, that we might receive adoption as Sons. And because you are now sons and daughters, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying ‘Abba, Father‘”.
The very heart of our Orthodox Christian belief is centered in this truth of Immanuel. That the eternal Son of God became a human being, born of a Virgin.
We call this truth the Incarnation, the reality that God came in the flesh and remains forever the God-Man. His divinity joined to our humanity forever.
This wonderful gift is what we celebrate so powerfully this night. And what is most wonderful about it is that because God took us in his Son to be his adopted Children we now can truly call God Father. And not just Father, but the word ABBA that St. Paul speaks of tonight is the Hebrew word that means DADDY.
God want us to be that close to him in his son.
I wish all of you a blessed Christmas and pray that the joy of this night will fill your hearts with thankfulness to God for the love that he gives us in the birth of his Son into our world. God has given the gift of the very best, so now take him, open him and live with him that gift in the center of your life, now and ever and unto the ages. Amen. Christ is Born!