In the name of Jesus. Amen.
I’ve always loved that phrase at the end of Luther’s hymn, “While angels sing with pious mirth A glad new year to all the earth.” Pious mirth. It is easy in the hustle and bustle of our lives, to forget to laugh and have true joy. Truth be told, often laughter is pretty low on our “to do” list of things for the Christmas season.
But the angels have something to teach us about how we look at these things. The events themselves are pretty simple. We just heard the story from our children, and from Dr. Luther’s marvelous hymn. But simple does not mean unimportant. Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. While they are there, Mary gives birth to her Son, Jesus Christ, the Lord.
That’s it. Oh, there are more details to be had, things to be said, and the like. But the bare facts of it are quite simple. Jesus is born. And with this event, everything changes for you and me, indeed for the entire world.
Because Jesus is born, the story, your story, now has an ending in joy, not sorrow.
Because Jesus is born, these children here have a future that is bright with the light of eternity.
Because Jesus is born, your griefs will come to an end.
Because Jesus is born, the road to the cross is set, and your salvation is at hand.
Because Jesus is born, your sins do not define you. They will be cast off with His death and resurrection.
Because Jesus is born, all of Satan’s plans have come unraveled like so many loose beads on a string.
Because Jesus is born, the gates of hell itself are shaken at the cry of this little babe.
Because Jesus is born, you can sing with the angels of God’s glory now come to earth.
Because Jesus is born, you can now depart in peace. Death is but a quiet slumber, the sleep of a child who will awaken at the call of their Father.
Because Jesus is born, no matter how dark the night is for you, the dawn of a new day in Christ is here.
Because Jesus is born, you can now laugh with the pious mirth of the angels, knowing that your champion is now at hand.
So this night, as we hear the story anew and learn from our children about the Christ child, laugh with the angels. A glad new year is here for all the earth. You are at peace. God loves you. He comes to you now in Word and Meal, ready ever to forgive and to draw you into that gracious embrace.
Believe it for Jesus’ sake, and Merry Christmas in Jesus’ name! Amen.