Sermon Transcript – For Unto You is Born a Savior

Series B – Christmas Eve – Wednesday, December 24, 2014 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:27Our first reading this Christmas Eve is taken from the prophet Isaiah chapter 9
0:33verses 2 through 7. the people who walked in darkness have
0:39seen a great light those who dwelt in the land of deep Darkness on them a light has shown
0:45you have multiplied the nation you have increased its Joy they rejoiced before
0:50you as with joy at the Harvest as they are glad when they divide the spoil
0:56for the Yoke of his burden and the staff of for his shoulder and the rod of his oppressor you have broken as on the day
1:03of Midian for every boot of the trampling Warrior embattled tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be
1:10burned as fuel for the fire for to us a child is born to us a son is given and
1:19the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name Shall be Called wonderful
1:24counselor Mighty God Everlasting father Prince of Peace
1:31of the increase of his government and of Peace there will be no end and the Throne of David and over his kingdom to
1:38establish it and to uphold it with Justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore the Zeal of
1:45the Lord of hosts will do this our second reading is taken from Titus
1:53Chapter 2 verses 11 through 14. for the grace of God has appeared
1:59bringing salvation for all people training us to renounce ungodliness and
2:05worldly passions and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives in the present age
2:11waiting for our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself
2:18for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for
2:25his own possession who are zealous for good works the holy Gospel According to Saint Luke
2:32Chapter 2 verses 1 through 20. in those days a decree went out from
2:38Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered or taxed this was
2:43the first registration when quirinius was the governor of Syria and all went to be registered each to his own town
2:49Joseph also went up From Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea to the
2:54city of David which is called Bethlehem because he was at the house and the lineage of David to be registered with
3:00Mary his betrothed who was with child and while they were there the time came
3:06for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and
3:14laid him in a Manger because there was no place for them in the inn and in the same region there were shepherds out in
3:20the field keeping watch over their flock by night and an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the
3:26Lord Shone around them and they were filled with great fear and the angel said to them fear not for behold I bring
3:34you good news of great joy that will be for all the people for unto you was born
3:40this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the lord and this will be
3:46a sign for you you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying
3:51in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying glory to
3:59God in the highest and on Earth peace among those with whom he is pleased
4:05when the angels went away from them into heaven the shepherd said to one another let us go over to Bethlehem to see this
4:12thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us and they went with haste and they found Mary Joseph and the
4:19baby lying in a Manger and when they saw it they made known the saying that had been told them
4:25concerning this child and all who heard it wondered at what the Shepherds told
4:31them but Mary treasured up all these things pondering them in her heart and the
4:36Shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen as it had been told to them
4:44in the name of Jesus Galatians Chapter 4 verses 4 through 5
4:51reads but when the fullness of time had come God sent forth his son born of a woman
4:57born under the law to redeem those who were under the law so that we might
5:04receive adoption as Sons what a blessed gift
5:09what a blessed gift let’s return now to our text and see if we can unpack and
5:15unwrap this gift a little bit our text begins with these words from the gospel in those days a decree went
5:21out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered this was the first registration when quirinius was
5:27the governor of Syria and all went to be registered each to his own town now they’d like to say there’s two things
5:33certain in life death and taxes here’s taxes at work and I think it’s important for us to
5:40note this that when we look at Jesus’s miraculous birth it’s prefigured in the Old Testament
5:46even with the birth of Moses if you think about the story of Moses Moses was born in slavery and yet he was a child
5:53who was very beautiful and his parents did not want to put him to death and so they put him in a basket set him out on
6:00the river and then a princess rescued him and he grew up as a prince
6:06now as miraculous as that all is well Jesus he did not grow up as a prince his
6:12miraculous birth was truly of a virgin amazing story if you think about it that
6:17God would so do this but this is exactly what he told us he would do back in the garden when he said that the seed of the
6:23woman would crush the head of the serpent so you can say Christ is prophesied in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15
6:30as well as even the Virgin Mary herself although how this went down is quite
6:35interesting so we find here in our story that Israel once again is in a sense on
6:41in slavery they’re no longer independent they’re not their own nation state they’re not
6:46calling the shots the theocracy of Israel is long gone long gone and so here we have Caesar Augustus a
6:53man who considers himself to be a god king taxing people and to make matters worse than the days before there were
6:59cars before there were well decent roads and the things that we enjoy today
7:07Mary and Joseph find themselves having to pull up stake while Mary is literally about to give
7:14birth the text doesn’t say anything about a donkey and what we know from this text also as
7:22well as from the preceding chapter is that Mary and Joseph are dirt poor
7:28they’re absolutely dirt poor now if you’re wondering how do I know this well
7:34in the next pericope for next this coming Sunday we have Mary and Joseph
7:39going to the temple to present Jesus and to offer the sacrifices commanded by the by the the Mosaic Covenant they can’t
7:46even afford a lamb for the sacrifice for Jesus they can only afford two turtle doves
7:52that’s it that’s a poor man’s offering so here we find literally the House of
7:59David reduced to abject poverty Joseph and Mary have to pull up stake
8:06out of this beleaguered blight of a town called Nazareth you think of the Gospel of John
8:13somebody asked the question one of the disciples asked questions can anything good come from Nazareth can anything good come from Nazareth this is I mean
8:19where the House of David is and Mary has to travel probably on foot from Nazareth
8:26all the way down to Bethlehem to be registered things are not looking good but all of
8:32this is to fulfill the prophet because where did Jesus have to be born well according to the prophet he had to be born in Bethlehem the city of David and
8:39this is how God chose things to happen you would think that if God’s going to choose the Virgin Mary
8:46to hold and carry and be pregnant with the Messiah that there’ll be a little
8:52bit of comfort that goes along with it well things not so good you know so we
8:57read so they went up From Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea to the
9:02city of David which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and the lineage of David to be registered with
9:08Mary his betrothed who is with child and while they were there the time for her to give birth came and she gave
9:14birth to her first born son notice it says firstborn you know I hate to say this but there’s
9:22several texts and this is one of them that kind of argues against this idea of Mary’s Perpetual virginity Jesus had
9:28Brothers Jesus had sisters and here it says she gave birth to her firstborn so you know if that was her firstborn I
9:35think there were others and we since Jesus had brothers and sisters I think it’s safe to say well she did not
9:40maintain her verb genity for the entirety of her life as some would like us to believe but she gave
9:47birth to her firstborn son wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a Manger notice here it doesn’t mention
9:53anything about a midwife doesn’t say anything about nurses tending to her Court officials or anybody else to offer
10:00her comfort in fact she gives birth and who’s the one wrapping Jesus in
10:06swaddling clothes Mary Mary
10:12so she wraps Jesus in swaddling clothes She lays him in a Manger because there
10:17was no place for them in the end things are bursting at the seams in the town of Bethlehem
10:23they don’t even have the ability to stay at motel 6. they’re in quite well quite a pickle
10:32here mangers if you’ve been around barn animals barn animals are known to well
10:39release things that make odors so they’re surrounded by animals
10:46horse poop Ox poop goat poop urine I’m sure it just smells great and
10:53this is where God chose to be born because that’s who
10:59Jesus is he’s God in human flesh this was his choice Jesus is really the
11:04one calling the shots here and this is how he chose to be born not in a palace but literally in such humble
11:11poverty-stricken circumstances that after he’s born his mother is the one
11:16who has to wrap him up and they’re staying in a Manger John puts it this way
11:24regarding Jesus in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word
11:30was God that is Jesus he the word was with God in the beginning and all things
11:36were made through him and without him was not anything that was made that was made in him was life and the life was
11:43the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the Darkness is not overcome it there was a man who was sent
11:50from John who from God whose name was John and he came as a witness to Bear witness about the light that all might
11:56believe through him he was not the light but he came to bear witness about the light the True Light
12:02which gives light to everyone was coming into the world he was in the world and
12:08though the world was made through him yet the world did not know him he came
12:14to his own and his own people did not receive him but to all who did receive
12:20him who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God who were born not of blood
12:27door of the will of of the flesh nor of the will of a man
12:33but children born of God and the word became flesh and he dwelt among us and we have seen his glory
12:40glory glory as of the only son of the father full of grace and truth
12:47that’s who Jesus is he’s God in human flesh the God who spoke the universe into
12:53existence in six days the one who said let there be light and there was light
12:58the one who called to the great light in the sky and said Son and the one who
13:05called to the Lesser light and said Moon that very one chose to be born literally in a barn
13:16this tells us something about God Jesus was right his ways are not our
13:22ways his thoughts are not our thoughts who of us would have ever written the
13:28story where God is born in a barn and he’s doing this for us to give us
13:34eternal life story turns a little bit in that same region there were shepherds out in the
13:41field keeping watch over their flock by night and an angel of the Lord appeared to them in the glory of the Lord Shone
13:47around them and they were filled with great fear
13:54who could blame them who can blame them who of us could stand in the presence of a Holy sinless Angel
14:02who beholds the very face of God and not fear and tremble and it makes sense too
14:08I mean if you think back to the fact that Jesus is Promised in the Garden of Eden
14:15there’s also an account of Angels in the Garden of Eden and after our fall in a
14:21sense angels are not technically our friends because we’re at war with God
14:28when we’re brought to penance and faith in Christ they minister to us they protect us
14:34but prior to that well we’re actually born hostile to God and they are our mortal enemies and you think about the
14:40job that God gave the angels in Genesis let me read it to you from Genesis chapter 3. I’ll begin with the cursing
14:48of the serpent Genesis 3 14. here’s what it says the Lord said to the serpent because you have done this cursed are
14:55you above all livestock above all Beasts of the field on your belly you shall go in the dust you shall eat all the days
15:02of your life and I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your Offspring and her Offspring he
15:09shall bruise your head and you shall Bruce his heel to the woman he said I will surely
15:16multiply your pain in childbearing and pain you shall bring forth children your desire shall be for your husband and he
15:22shall rule over you and to Adam he said because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the fruit
15:28of the tree which I commanded you you shall not eat of it cursed is the ground because of you in pain you shall eat of
15:34it all the days of your life thorns and thistles which shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the plants of the
15:40field and by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground for out of it you were taken for
15:47you are dust and to dust you shall return the man called his wife’s name Eve in
15:55the Hebrew because she was the mother of all the living and the Lord God Made For Adam and his wife garments of skin and
16:01he clothed them and then the Lord God said behold the man has become like one of us knowing good and evil now lest he
16:08reached out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and then live forever therefore the Lord God sent him
16:14out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken he drove out the man and at the east of the
16:21Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim these are angels and a flaming sword
16:26that turned every way to guard the way to the Tree of Life
16:31flaming sword holy cherubim this had to be a sight that if you were
16:38just to look at it with your own eyes you probably would have shaken out of your boots
16:44this is a scary and awesome thing and this is the type of relationship now
16:50that man because of our sinful nature in a sense by Nature has with angels so
16:56seeing an angel could be well an experience that would leave you dead
17:02so here we have the Angels showing up to the Shepherds out in the middle of their
17:09field and it says the angel of the Lord appeared to them the glory of the Lord showed around them and they were all
17:15filled with great fear can you blame them but the angel said to them
17:21fear not the angel is there to comfort for behold
17:26I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people
17:32For unto you is Born This Day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the lord
17:41those angels who knew their buddies who had been put on guard in the Garden of Eden with the Flaming sword to keep the
17:47men out that they’re no longer harbingers of God’s justice ready to threaten and to
17:54punish instead they’re here to announce good news to us and this news that the
18:01Angels announced to the Shepherds this news is also good news to us
18:06because it’s not to who just the Shepherds that Christ is born but Christ is born for us and this calls for us to
18:14believe the same way the Shepherds did for you see unto you is born in the city of David a savior who is Christ the lord
18:22and this will be the sign for you you’ll find a baby wrapped in swaddling
18:27clothes and lying in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly hosts praising
18:34God and saying glory to God in the highest and on Earth peace among those
18:39with whom he is pleased now quick aside you know the internet is quite the
18:45fascinating piece of technology in fact there’s a great quote on there that there’s a quote from a very famous
18:51person who goes like this don’t believe everything you read on the internet signed Abraham Lincoln
18:57great piece of advice but if you if you’re on the internet you’ll notice that there’s kind of a rise of a lot of
19:05people within Christendom who are falling into what I would consider to be just an egregious error and that is is
19:11that they somehow are believing that celebrating Christmas is somehow a sin
19:17somehow it’s really in a sense you know worshiping Pagan deities or that it’s
19:22somehow a pagan practice that got smuggled into the church that’s all hogwash it’s all Pious sounding hogwash
19:29and the reality of this situation is is that I see in this text
19:34Angels who are partying and praising God and have good news to announce and
19:40they’re doing it on Jesus’s birthday if the angels can celebrate the birth of Christ
19:46then certainly we can too and so don’t let anybody steal your joy with these Pious sounding arguments that
19:52somehow it’s it’s a sinful thing to celebrate Christmas if that were the case then these Angels were truly the
19:58greatest Sinners of all time but they’re not they’re shouting and praising glory to God in the highest and
20:05on Earth peace among those with whom he is pleased this kind of Echoes Psalm 98 which is another Christmas song
20:12which which is read during this time of the year let me read it to you oh sing to the Lord a new song for he has done
20:20marvelous things his right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for him the Lord has
20:27made known his salvation he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the Nations he has remembered his steadfast
20:34love and faithfulness to the house of Israel all the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our God make a
20:40Joyful Noise to the Lord all the Earth Break Forth and joyou a song and sing praises sing praises to the Lord with a
20:48liar and with a liar the sound of Melody with trumpets and the sound of the horn Make a Joyful Noise before the king the
20:55Lord let the sea Roar and all that fills it let the world and those who dwell in
21:01it let the rivers clap their hands and let the hills Sing For Joy together before the Lord for he comes to judge
21:08the Earth and he will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity
21:14indeed glory to God in the highest that he has had mercy on us and he has worked
21:19such a great salvation by sending us the promised seed of the woman to crush the
21:25head of the serpent for you see there in the manger in that rough wood of the
21:30manger which is Jesus’s cradle that foreshadows his cross and so Jesus is
21:35well on his way now to the cross and he’s there for us you think of that song
21:40that we sang last week What Child Is This who’s laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping one of the verses says Nails
21:48spear shall pierce him through the cross he bore for me for you hail hail the
21:54word made flesh the babe the son of Mary this is something to be joyful about
22:02so when the angels went away from them into heaven the shepherd said to one another let us go over to Bethlehem and
22:09see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us they recognize that the message was
22:15given by God himself to the angels to deliver to them and so it says notice it
22:21says which the Lord has made known to us not the Angels but the Lord that’s that’s the way it is with Messengers
22:26when somebody comes and gives you a message from somebody else the messenger means nothing so in other words just
22:33keep that in mind when dealing with me I’m just the messenger you know I have words from God
22:40so they went with haste and they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a Manger just like they were told now if
22:49you think about it I mean if you had a camera crew in Bethlehem and maybe you were covering the story the news was
22:55being splashed across the screens back 2000 years ago Bethlehem packed for
23:01taxation right people from all over coming to being registered there’s no place for anybody to stay it would look
23:07like a packed town and so there in the packed Town it would be like no big deal
23:13if you saw and over here we’ve got this family and oh you just had a baby and you’re in a Manger oh wow that shows you
23:19how packed it is it’s really not that great of a sign if you think about it
23:25pack Town small family lady just gave birth they’re in a Manger they’re making do but see the thing is without a word
23:32from God we have no idea how to understand the theological significance of what’s taking place and what people
23:38are seeing because the sign is that the Babe is in a Manger
23:43but the theology is is that he’s Christ the King who’s born unto us so because
23:50we have that Revelation from God we can look at something as ordinary and common as a baby in a manger and understand the
23:57theological significance and understand exactly who that is without the word of
24:03God it’s just an ordinary event but with the word of God it’s something that calls us
24:09to believe and to have faith and to have hope and to trust so
24:15they made known the saying so they went with haste it doesn’t say they just dawdled they actually got up and hoofed
24:22it they were running probably a little bit winded they found Mary and Joseph the baby lying in a manger and when they
24:27saw it they made known the saying that had been told to them concerning this child and all who heard it wondered at
24:34what the Shepherds told them but Mary treasured up all these things pondering them in her heart and that’s the reason
24:40why we know what happened by the way because Luke opens up his gospel with basically saying I’ve made an orderly
24:46account and talked to the eyewitnesses and I wrote all these things down so the question is how did Luke come up with
24:52all of this stuff the answer is he didn’t he sat down and had a cup of coffee with Mary and said Mary would you
24:59explain to me the circumstances by which our Lord was born she said I’d be happy to let me tell you
25:06what happened and she does that’s where all of this came from all of this report there’s only one person who was alive at
25:12the time who could have given this report and that’s Mary herself and so we know here from this text that
25:18Mary treasured up all these things pondering them in her heart and the Shepherds returned
25:24not disappointed not underwhelmed they returned glorifying and praising
25:31God for all that they had heard and seen as it had been told to them
25:38and so here’s kind of the irony of it we’ll come back here there’s God and human flesh
25:45in a Manger not a palace born to set us free
25:50and Philippians describes Jesus’s Incarnation this way Jesus Christ
25:56who though he was in the form of God he did not count equality with God a thing
26:02to be grasped instead he emptied himself by taking the form of a servant or slave
26:09and being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the
26:16point of death even death on a cross so we can’t talk about the manger
26:21without talking about the cross because here is the god of the universe King of Kings Lord of lords the Alpha and the
26:28Omega the beginning and the end the one who is and was who is to come
26:34he’s chosen to empty himself of all of that empty himself why to rescue you
26:43to rescue me because every single one of us needs rescuing all of us
26:50foreign sinners the sons of Adam daughters of Eve born
26:55with their sin conceived in sin enslaved to sin cannot
27:02set ourselves free but God sends a hero God sends a savior
27:08and his first move is not with flexing power but instead is to be born and
27:15there’s God in human flesh looping his diapers crying because he’s
27:20hungry nursing at the breast of Mary all of these
27:27Earthly humble things he’s done them for you he’s done them for me
27:35and so this is good news and because he humbled himself and became obedient to
27:40the point of death even death on a cross that says this therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name
27:48that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus on the last day every knee
27:53should bow in heaven on Earth and under the Earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God
28:00the Father course Titus says but when the goodness and loving kindness of our savior
28:08appeared just think about those words goodness
28:13loving kindness of God our savior appeared
28:19he saved us that’s right the nature of God is kindness it’s love
28:28it’s Mercy it’s forgiveness he truly does not desire the death of
28:34any of the wicked but his true hope is that all would be brought to repentance
28:40and he’s paid the ultimate price for us but when the goodness and the loving
28:46kindness of our God and savior appeared he saved us not because of Works done by
28:52us in righteousness but he saved us according to his own Mercy by the washing of regeneration and
28:59renewal of the Holy Spirit whom you poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ Our Savior so that being
29:05justified by his grace as a gift we might become heirs
29:10according to the hope of eternal life and so this Christmas Eve
29:17as we celebrate and Ponder the great mercy and gifts of God and sending us our savior
29:23understand this all of this was because Jesus was going to the cross and he went to the Cross to redeem to save you but
29:31he also rose again from the grave and you too will rise again you too will see
29:36this King face to face you will see him in all of
29:41his glory and you will not shrink back and not have to hear from him fear not because he will not say such things to
29:47you because he has washed you he has redeemed you and here at this table he feeds you with his body and his blood
29:54and he has you and he’s not going to let go of you and he is going to bring you
29:59with him into eternal life new Heavens new Earth forever because God is good he
30:06is merciful and he is kind and this night we celebrate the fact that tonight
30:11he said to us a savior let us believe let us hope
30:18because that’s what this night and this day is all about in Jesus name amen
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