Christmas Day, 2020
Text: John 1:1-5, 10-18, Is.9:2–7
In the name of Jesus, Amen!
Life to be born is a life to live. When a baby is born, we celebrate and are thankful for God’s beautiful creation. We feel pride and joy, with great expectations that the child will live a wonderful life. However, because of this sinful world we also know that it will be hard for a child to grow up and live their life, and also hard for the people around them. Recently, our Chinese ministry celebrated a baby shower online, where the would-be parents expressed a lot of uncertainties asking questions about how to raise the baby and how he would live his life.
People long to live and celebrate a life, but it’s hard, especially during the pandemic. We were discouraged to celebrate the baby shower in person inside. It seems that every public activity is prohibited except protesting. Yes, it’s because of the virus. Sin in this world, like the virus making us sick, robbed us of a healthy life, enslaved us, and left us rotten and dead in darkness. Where do we find a true and healthy life?
In today’s Gospel reading, John 1:4 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men”. The text tells us that the true life, the light of men is found in the Word, Who was in the beginning, Who was with God and was God, Who came into the world, became flesh, and dwelt among us, and Who is the true light, which gives light to everyone. This was the child Whose birth in Bethlehem we celebrate today, and Whom the prophet Isaiah promised us to be born, a son to be given. This child is called Immanuel, God with us, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And this child is Jesus, Who would one day die for us and save us from our sins. THIS life to be born is for us to live eternally.
Today, we celebrate Jesus’ birth, a life to be born, and a son to be given for us to live. Thanks be to God! An hour ago, a baby was baptized. The new life to be born of water and the Spirit is a life for this baptized baby to be lived eternally. There will be challenges, difficulties and pains in his earthly life. But now he can rest assured, no matter what will happen in the future, he has a life to live as a child of God, exactly because a child was born to us two thousand years ago, by the humble manger of a small inn, and was given to us on the Cross 33 years later. Now, because Jesus lives, this newly baptized baby can face tomorrow, knowing that he has a life to live not in darkness, but in light, with peace and joy, receiving grace upon grace.
In the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen!