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Let's Keep It Simple

December 04, 2019
By Rev. Peter Heckert

+ Grace to you, and peace, from God our heavenly Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. + Amen.

When it comes to theology –the study of words about God – you can keep it as simple as you’d like, or you can go as deep as you’d like. It really is as simple as “Jesus loves me; this I know for the Bible tells me so,” but you can plunge into the deep waters of doctrinae like the communication of attributes, or forensic justification. We haven’t the time to do the latter here tonight – if you’re interested in either, feel free to hit me up after tonight’s service! For tonight, let’s keep it simple, and that last reading that we heard, from John’s Gospel account, keeps it nice and simple.

In the beginning, God created everything, and saw that it was very good. However, humanity screwed it up. Adam and Eve broke the single rule God gave them, and now, as a result, we can’t have nice things. People get hurt, they hurt each other, they die. This is the result of Adam and Eve’s sin, and we inherit their guilt. Humans really are the reason there’s so much suffering in the world, why we go to war, why we have the social ills that we do. It all stems from our First Parents, and what followed their sin was nothing short of the shattering of the universe that God had called “good.”

I wouldn’t have blamed Him for leaving us to our own devices; we made our bed, and we should be made to sleep in it. We sowed sin, and we reap as we sow. But God doesn’t think like you and me. He didn’t want that for His creation. He didn't make the cosmos just because He could; He made it … out of love. And it was love that dictated His response.

Before the beginning, knowing how we would so royally screw everything up, God had a plan, to rescue His broken creation … to rescue us. But we couldn’t be involved; we’re the ones that broke it, and we ourselves are broken. No, if we were to be rescued, God Himself would have to do it.

Thus the words we heard a few moments ago: The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Christmas is not merely a time to gather with loved ones, enjoy awesome food, watch countless (often cheesy) holiday specials, and partake in ugly sweater contests. Christmas … is about Jesus Christ. Christmas is all about how the eternal Logos, the eternal Word John talks about, loved His creatures, you and me, so much that He became one of us … and died for us.

That is the reason why Jesus was born in the first place: to die. By itself, that’s nothing special; people die every day. What made His death special … was that He died … for you, bearing your sin, my sin, and the sin of all the world in His body … because He loves you. The special word is “atonement,” reconciliation between God and man, but as long as man was still in sin, reconciliation couldn’t happen.

That’s what Jesus made possible. By His being punished in our place, you, and I, and every other human being that has ever lived or will ever live, are forgiven. Because He took on human flesh at Christmas, because He died on the cross on Good Friday, your sins are forgiven! There is reconciliation, peace, between God and man, now that Jesus has atoned for all sin! That’s the joy of Christmas, my friends! Not simply that Jesus has come, but that He has come ... for you. The God who created all things, who spoke all things into existence, who formed you in your mother’s womb … died for you, so that those who believe His promises would have the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. In Christ Jesus, and only in Christ Jesus, are your sins forgiven, and are you made right with God!

Do you believe this?

+ In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. + Amen.

Tags: John 1:1-14