We used the propers for the first
service of Christmas Day for our Christmas Eve service which are found on Page
96-98, with the Collect first:
GOD, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of
the birth of thine only Son Jesus Christ; Grant that as we joyfully receive him
for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come
to be our Judge, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God,
world without end. Amen.
Dru Arnold read the Epistle, which came from Paul’s letter to Titus
beginning in the Eleventh Verse of the Second Chapter. Paul tells Titus that it is only God’s
grace that gives us salvation. If
we are going to accept that grace, we need to live the life to which God has
called us. Regardless of cost, we need to live the life God has purchased for
We need to trust in God and in this world live
cleanly, conservatively, thoughtfully, looking towards God for our
salvation. We need to encourage
and exhort other Christians to do likewise.
To live in harmony with others.
To be, to the extent we are able, paragons of
virtue. Serving as good examples,
not bad. Paul tells Titus to do
what is right, trust is God and worry not. Quoting a later author, “Trust in God and Dread Naught.”
HE grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that
blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus
Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things
speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Tonight’s Gospel is the narrative of the Nativity
from the Gospel according to Saint Luke, the Second Chapter, beginning at the First
ND it came to pass in those days, that
there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be
taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up
from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his
espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were
there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought
forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in
a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the
same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by
night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto
them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the
babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was
with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and
Today’s sermon brought
the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the
Today we remember and celebrate
the coming of our Lord, the first time; we look to the coming of our Lord, the
second time. The Jews were looking
to God to send the Messiah, the one who they determined would free them from
the brutal yoke of the Romans and put them on top again. The veritable Top Dogs. They wanted a Champion to lead them to
victory over the Romans and throw them off Israel. What God sent was a baby. Well, The Baby, but nonetheless a baby. Shepherds came to worship Him, but
Herod was looking to kill Him. No
good in having a Champion putting Herod out of the petty quisling dictator job.
What God sent the Jews was His
In point of fact, He sent Him
to the Jews first, but not only.
The “Wise Men” showed up to worship Him and regardless of who they might
have been, they certainly were not Jews.
This Son was to free the Jews from the Prince of Darkness and the
finality of death.
That really did
not fit the Jews’ plan.
They were still looking for Expulsor,
he who would toss the Romans out on their heads.
“Grant as we joyfully receive him for
our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to
be our judge.”, With sure confidence, if we receive him now as our Redeemer, we
shall be filled with sure confidence of being received by Him when we are
standing before his Judgement seat. If we do not joyfully receive him now, how
can we expect him to be joyfully receiving us when we come to meet him.
In joyous rememberence
of His Birth, we must keep in mind the end goal of his arrival here on Earth,
which was to free us from the bondage of sin and death, by giving his life so
that we might be free of this terrible oppression. We must Rejoice always and
again I say Rejoice, in the fact that we are free from the wages of sin, by the
fact that He gave his life for us, and was born that He might save us from a
The key word is
joyfully, meaning we must of our own free will receive Him into our hearts, and
feel the joyousness of His Birth, for this holiday of His Birth is a happy
time, to not only feel the joy of his physical arrival, but of what He came to
do for us, that we might be free for all eternity. He shall be our confidence
and our spiritual dwelling place, rather than place our hope in men, who shall
always fall short, but God shall never lead us astray or fall short of our
hopes and expectations, unlike Men.
Remembering His Birth
each year, we must consider what the cost was for our freedom from death, which
soon after he ascended to be with Our Father.
Some guy coming to save their
souls, without the need for slaughtering the profitable sacrificial animals did
not really fit their plan. They
had The Law, what more did they need?
The Jews concentrated on their
wants and ignored their needs.
Need, Want – both four letter words, oft used interchangeably. Sadly, they don’t mean the same thing.
So, that is where the Jews were
on Christmas Eve; Christmas Day for that matter? God intended to fulfill their needs, they looked to have
their wants fulfilled.
How about us on this Christmas
Eve; or Christmas Day for that matter?
Are we looking for someone to make us rich, thin or cool? Or are we looking for someone who will
save our souls? Do what God asks,
you will not only gain eternal life, but eternal happiness and as a plus you
will be happy. You may think you
can have more fun, but He guarantees you will be happy.
As we come upon this midnight
clear, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ waits for us. Will we accept it? Follow Him, accept His Grace and all
will be good forever.
God - Live of God - Act of God
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