Christmas is Real

December 25 2004 22:48 (+ 6 - 8 )

People read history books without question. Why is that? Facts are recorded and all according to the point of view of the historian. Regardless, because it is recorded in a history book, it has to be real. You'd think it was a newspaper or something.

Well, it stands to human reason--to Christian human reason--that God saw that coming when He sent his spirit to St. Luke to inspire him to write his Gospel. The Christmas history that he records begins with a recounting of world history: "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)" These guys really existed. So, Luke is saying the rest of what he wrote really happened.

What did he write? "The time came for the baby to be born, and [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn." Shepherds went to greet him, Magi travelled to greet him (well, in St. Matthew's Gospel). The boy grew in stature, taught the teachers, made his way to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world. This man was Jesus, given the name because He would save His people from their sins. He is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh; the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, St. John says. He rose again, and ascended to the Father in heaven.

So, if what St. Luke says happened actually happened, then the promises he states that Jesus made are true, too. Just as He is risen and ascended into heaven, He will return to raise the dead and give eternal life to all who believe in Him. As Martin Luther says, "this is most certainly true."

All of this because Caesar Augustus issued a decree. A decree that can be read about in many different history books on Ancient Rome.

Therefore, since it is true, I can, in all confidence wish you a very Merry Christmas. And remember, this is only the first day of Christmas, we have 11 more to go...

Look for my Christmas Eve sermon either later tonight or tomorrow sometime.

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