Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

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Location: Dorr, Michigan

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Day (A)
December 25, 2007
Text: John 1:1-18

Darkness fell upon the world when man lifted the forbidden fruit to his lips. It was the darkness of sin and death. The creation that was good had fallen. The wages of sin is death. Man sought to gratify his own desires rather than render glory and obedience to God. As a result, man can neither satisfy his own desires nor render glory and obedience to God. For Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent, and ever since Adam and Eve and all of their descendents have been in the serpent’s bondage. Yet into the darkness came the light of God’s promise: The Seed of the Woman would crush the serpent’s head, even as the serpent crushed His heel.

Darkness fell upon a Bethlehem stable. There was inside the manger a tiny newborn life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Cattle are lowing in the light of their Creator. Angels sing of the light. Shepherds are drawn to the light and kneel in worship. The virgin mother of the little Lord Jesus treasures up all of these things and ponders them in her heart. But a sword shall pierce her soul. This child is destined for the fall and rising of many. He was born to die. But in this way He brings the light of salvation to all men, and eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Darkness fell upon a hill outside Jerusalem, the place called the Skull. The wages of sin is death. The serpent, who by a tree once overcame, must likewise by a tree be overcome. The Child of Bethlehem hangs on a cross. Nails, spear, have pierced Him through, the cross He bears for me, for you. His virgin mother looks on, helpless. As the nails pierce the flesh of her Son, a sword pierces her motherly soul. Her holy Son commends her to His beloved disciple. He forgives His executioners. He grants eternal life to His fellow condemned. He cries in anguish to God as He suffers the just penalty of our sins. He thirsts. He cries, “It is finished!” as the work of atonement is brought to completion. He commends His spirit to His heavenly Father. He gives up the ghost and dies. The world is dark. It appears as though darkness has triumphed over light. It appears as though the serpent has won. He has crushed the heel of the woman’s promised Seed. God is dead. He is sealed in a tomb. The daughters of Jerusalem weep and the disciples cower in fear.

But the darkness cannot hold the light. Christ is risen. He was dead, but behold, He lives. The morning light paints a clear scene. The serpent’s head is crushed. Sin lies buried in the tomb. Death is dead. But the Savior lives. “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit’” (1 Cor. 15:45; ESV). “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (v. 22). “‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (vv. 54-55). Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Weep not, dear Christians. Arise, shine, for your light has come. The radiance of the glory of God has come to His people. He is restoring the fallen creation. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. “Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Is. 52:9-10). The dwelling place of God is with men. By God’s power man once again renders glory and obedience to God. God gives man the desires of his heart. He gives the man holy desires. Jesus is the light of the world. Whoever follows Him does not walk in darkness, but has the light of life. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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