Son of the Father
Topic: Biblical Verse: John 1:1–1:14
The Nativity of Our Lord – Christmas DayDecember 25, 2018
St. John's Lutheran Church, Alexandria, VA
“Who Is Jesus? Son of the Father”
Take a breath. Relax for a while. Christmas is here! Leave behind the stresses and struggles of planning for time with family, festive celebrations, and anything else that has been laid upon this day of the year. You’re here. You’re where you need to be. And God is here for you.
What’s the warmest welcome that you can imagine? My guess is that it’s one that shows how much your presence is appreciated, a welcome that makes you feel special and valued.
Today, your heavenly Father is welcoming you home. But wait – isn’t that getting it backwards? Aren’t we supposed to be welcoming the birth of Jesus, the Son of the Father? Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Our Christmas celebrations in the Church – all the music and decorations and Children’s Christmas Programs – they’re meant to point us to Jesus. He’s why we’re here, not just on Christmas Day but on any day of the year. And the gifts! Any of you give or receive Christmas gifts this year? Giving the people you care about what they want or need can be a great joy. But all those gifts pale in comparison to the great gift God gives us on Christmas. And our joy, great as it may be, can’t compare to the great joy God the Father has as He welcomes you in to receive the gift He gives you in His Son.
Our Gospel reading for Christmas Day is the prologue of John’s Gospel account, words that are simultaneously poetic and straightforward. John’s words direct us to Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Light who has come into our darkened world. Why? To give us a gift – the greatest gift which we could ever receive: the authority to be reborn children of God.
Welcome home. The Son has come among us in order that you could be adopted by His Father. The Almighty God has become flesh, living perfectly for you, dying for your sin, and rising for you so that you could be His child, His daughter, His son. You, personally, are adopted by the Creator of the Universe. That adoption was made official as the water of Baptism covered you in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Nothing can take it away from you, no power can make you an orphan. Through the Son, you have life that cannot be overcome by death. You are welcome in your heavenly Father’s sight, for when He looks at you, He sees His Son.
Who is Jesus? He is the only Son from the Father. John’s words don’t leave room for us to say anything else. The Word through whom all things were made is come down from heaven. God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is now human as well as divine. The Father sent His Son to be one of us so that he would buy us back from sin and death, from our brokenness. In this way God has loved you and your family and your neighbor and people across the globe and throughout all time. The Son has come into the world as the Father’s gift to you.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” That’s how we normally hear verse 14 translated, but there’s another way of saying the last phrase that’s equally valid: “the only Son from the Father, ‘The Full Gift of the Truth.’” Jesus is the full and complete expression of God’s love for you, given as a gift. If you want to know the truth about God the Father, look to His Son. In Jesus, see the lengths to which your Creator goes to win you back from the separation and isolation that has brought into the human experience. Look to Jesus to see that God has come to stay.
In these twelve days of Christmas, we get to celebrate the truth that God has come to dwell with us. He’s here, and through Jesus, we are made to be family. If you walk through the doors of this congregation, know that you have a church, you have a pastor, and you have a home. Most importantly, you have a Savior and Lord. This community is here, not just on Christmas Day or Easter or any of the other holidays we celebrate together, but in each new day that we have together in God’s Son. Don’t miss out. Christ has so much more to offer you.
As you go out from this gathering, remember that you are a child of God. Jesus, the Son of the Father, has seen to it that you could be, all as a gift from God’s grace.
So take a breath. Rejoice! Christmas is here. Christ is born for you.