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Open Source

December 25, 2022 Pastor: Rev. Dean Kavouras

lightChrist Lutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio
December 25, 2022
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras

Christmas Day
Open Source

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory! Glory possessed by the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

This Christmas let us turn our focus to a single word from today’s marvelous liturgy, the last word of today’s gospel, the word “truth!”

To know the truth of a matter means to be in possession of all the facts and information related to it. But in Scripture Truth goes much farther.

In the Bible “truth” means that something that was once concealed is no longer hidden. That something once obscure is now made plain as the noonday sun.

Case in point: Jesus reveals the Father to us in all his glory and all his love in such a way that we can comprehend him. So that when the Bible says that “God is love,” and that he has substantiated his love for us by giving his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, we can know it and believe it with a simple and glad heart.

In Christ the Father is no longer estranged from sinful man, but makes himself fully known, and opens up the endless Promise of his love to us.

Now minus this revelation. Minus this opening up of himself to man by the Incarnate Christ; men stumble through life generation after generation in total darkness and utter blindness; that causes us to think, to do, to love and to defend the indefensible. Things that are harmful to ourselves and to one another. The darkness makes us numb and dumb; foolish irrational and unreasonable; self-defeating and self-punishing.

Apart from the unconcealed truth of God we are like the Beverly Hillbillies who called the billiard table was “the fancy eatin’ table,” and the Olympic sized swimming pool “the cement pond” where granny would go to do her wash.

Minus our insight into God who is the Source of all things; all ability; all comprehension; all knowledge; all existence – apart from this Christ given perception we think that right is wrong, and wrong is right; that white is black and black is white.

Without the true knowledge of God that Christ gives we may think that the berm of the interstate is the ideal place to set up a lawn chair on a sunny day to get a tan, and read a good book.

Without truth we can even become unsure of something as basic as our sex, and wonder if we are man, woman or something else.

Crazy you say? Take note of our post Christian world where Christ, who unwraps God before our eyes, has been canceled and see how much sense the world makes.

In 64 AD the Roman emperor Nero insanely blamed Christians for the Great Fire of Rome that devastated 2/3 of the city; and put them to torturous deaths, though he himself had set the fire.

In the early 1940’s Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s misfortunes, and perpetrated an atrocity not to be forgotten.

Fast forward to 2021 when short of the most basic urge for self-preservation America stops oil production within her borders, then begs Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to supply it to her – and is shocked when they snub her and the whole world laughs in derision.

Is it any wonder then, that Pontius Pilates asked Jesus all those years ago, “What is truth?”

Minus the “unwrapping of God” that the Christmas Child provides us there is only darkness and misery, confusion and uncertainty, now and forever because:

There is no other Life.

There is no other Light.

Only the Utterance of God Made flesh; made Temple among us where we can meet with our God in peace.

And so the “business” we “transact” here on Christmas and indeed every Sunday is the most solemn enterprise of all! An encounter with God which outstrips any pursuit that would keep us away.

And whatever things earth considers important are not even blips on the radar compared to what we deal with in the church; where we come to know “the one true God,” by the Incarnate Lord who “was made man” – at which words the church falls down “lost in wonder, love and praise.” (Wesley TLH #351)

This is the reality of Christmas that we celebrate not only annually; but every Sunday as Christ occupies this chancel in Divine Liturgy; where God is no longer concealed, but revealed in the fullness of his glory.

When a culture cancels Christ and effaces the celebration of his birth – then the prophecy of Deuteronomy 28 (28-29) comes true, “The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind … and you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness …”

But the Incarnate Christ, who is ever present in his church, is our Help and Salvation! He who is Divine Life and Light among us restores our sanity – then like the demoniac in St. Mark chapter five we find ourselves free of satanic tyranny, fully clothed by baptism into Jesus, and sitting peacefully at his beautiful feet.

Yes, when the First Born entered the world humanity breathed a collective sigh of relief; and men began to live good lives to the glory of God; and of love for one another – something that no political proposal will ever match. For only this Child who came in the flesh, to demonstrate his solidarity with humanity, will make the world kinder and gentler; or take us into the paradise of heaven.

As such Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Christ that we heard in our Old Testament reading earlier is also true of our assembly today.

Today we are the “watchmen who lift up our voices” in proclamation, praise and thanksgiving.

We are the ones who: sing out for joy, for our eyes see the return of Christ to Zion.

We are the church that says to the world: Christ is come! And so break forth together in song O you ruins of Jerusalem; crushed beneath the load of human waste.

For the Lord Christ has consoled us, he has redeemed our world, he has revealed his holy arm on the cross before the eyes of all the nations, by this Christmas celebration of his pivotal birth.

And in him: all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Christ is born, glorify him!

Christ comes from heaven, go forth to meet him!

Christ is on earth, exult!

Amen.