Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols (Dec. 24, 2008)
For an audio MP3 of this sermon, click below:
TITLE: “The Gift”
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Our text is the story of our Lord’s birth as told in the Scriptures, particularly the verses from Luke 2 as follows: “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 ESV)
We live in a disposable world. Nearly everything we have and own wears out. The toys of today become the pawned junk of tomorrow. As much as we all love to get gifts for Christmas, and I know that I do, there is always going to be one part of us that wants the anticipation of Christmas never to end. Why? Because you know that once you get your gifts, then it’s over. There is no more imagination. There is no more wondering how great this year will be. It’s done. Time to move on to next year.
But not when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mary kept all these things, these holy events of our Lord’s life, and treasured them in her heart. She meditated on them. Pondered them. Examined them over and over again, like a fine cut diamond that is always new because the light never hits it the same way twice.
That, dear Christian, is what this night is all about. Gifts fade away, but THE GIFT is always bright and clear as the morning sun. Toys grow old. Gadgets break. Clothes don’t fit anymore or go out of style. But Jesus Christ, He is different. You can continue to anticipate and wonder and hope in this little baby, because He makes all things new. Things can get better in Him. Things will get better in Him. He has taken you into Himself, and so His eternal future is yours. Trust in Him, for He cares for you above all things.
Meditating on Christ means meditation on His Word, on this great, wonderful, eternal story that crosses cultures and time, languages and race. This story is the story of all creation. Even those who don’t believe in Jesus know this story. The fact that the world gives gifts on this day, as commercialized and as silly as it may become, is itself a confession that THE GIFT is here in the flesh.
So this Christmastide sit back, relax, rejoice in family and friends, and in the wonder of this season. But don’t just do so because of all the new stuff under the tree. Rejoice because our Lord was hung on a tree. Rejoice because Jesus died so that you might have a future and a life that has no end. Believe it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.