The Nativity of our Lord


Today, we celebrate the birth of life.  For that is who Christ Jesus is.  He’s not simply the holiest among those who think themselves as holy.  He’s not simply a man of historical renown.  Such understatements fail to recognize Christ Jesus as Life.  They don’t recognize Him as Life eternal.  

Jesus is the life of all the living.  Through Him, all creation came into being, and apart from Him nothing came into being.  He is the life of all people.  In Him is life.  Yet, even more, our Lord Jesus Christ is the life of all who live even though they pass through the jaws of death.  For whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  

Main Body

If there is no Jesus, then there is no life.  To have life, you must have Jesus.  Jesus and life are so intertwined that He is Life.  When you receive and take in Jesus, you receive and take in Life.  That is why only Jesus can say, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).

Can you not now see that Mary, the blessed Virgin, gave birth to Life itself?  Yet, Jesus is not just any life; He is Life in the flesh.  That’s why we rejoice!  Today is the birthday of life!  

Yes, we know that death still lurks in the shadows and stalks us.  Death still haunts us, seeking to frighten us into sin, luring us to live in our self-serving ways.  But death cannot hold a candle to life.  For the Word Himself, Jesus Christ, has given us His Word when He says, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though he dies.  Indeed, everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

“Do you believe this?”  That is what Life, Jesus, asks you.  That is the crux of all reality: That you, through faith, recognize Life as He is, not as you wish Him to be.  For you only get real life from Life Himself, not in the lord of your own making.  For you only receive Life as He gives Himself to you.  For He is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Christ, our Life (John 14:6).

In your worldly thinking, you believe that life is what you make of it.  So, you work hard to get the most out of life.  You fear that life may pass you by.  A quiet anxiety stirs within that you will not live life to the fullest.  And so you hedge your bets, trying to be both of God and of the world.

But Life did not enter the world on this day to take life away from you.  Instead, He comes that you may have life, and that you may have it in abundance (John 10:10).  Jesus did not become man just to be a man.  No, Jesus, Life Himself, came to lay down His life.  For no one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Yet, Jesus came to be more than just a friend.  He is more than someone to turn to in a crisis.  He’s more than someone to whom you voice your gripes and wishes.  He is your life.  But to be that–for you–He had to born in the flesh.  He had to give up His life to give it for you.  But more than that, He gave up His life to live within you, that you may have life, that you may have it in abundance.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was

in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him.  Yet, to all who did receive Him, He gave the right to become children of God.  These were the ones believing in His name.  For them, such birth was not from blood, nor from the stir of the flesh, nor from man’s desire, for they were born of God (John 1:10-13).

Did you hear that?  In Christ, we receive another birth.  In Christ, we are born anew.  Christmas isn’t only about the birth of Life, the birth of Jesus, but also your own birth, your new birth–through Life, by Life, and in Life.  

Our Lord and our Life was born, not simply to take on flesh like yours with all its grief and pain.  No, our Lord and Life also seeks to be born in your flesh, that He may live your life even as you live in His.

Yes, today is about Jesus.  But it’s also about you, your life, which is hidden with Christ in God.  Where is it hidden?  It’s hidden in Christ.  How?  By this new birth, this being “born of God” which takes place through the Word and water of holy Baptism.  Through the Holy Spirit working through the Word in the water, Jesus now lives in you–and you in Him!  It is as Jesus says, “Unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot see the reign of God” (John 3:3).

This is how Life Himself describes your life in Him:

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  As the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing….  This is how my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:4-5, 8).

May we, then, with a leaping heart and a full-throated voice give thanks to God the Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit.  For in His vast love for us, the true and only God has not left us dead in our trespasses and sins.  Instead, He has brought us into the life of Christ Jesus.  

And that life began when Life Himself became flesh and sojourned among us.  Through Baptism, with the eyes of faith, we now get to gaze upon His glory, the glory of the One-and-Only of the Father, full of grace and truth.


Today, here and now, you get to taste and see that your Lord is gracious.  So, understand and believe the worth of what you will receive.  For you don’t just receive any old life.  No, you receive Life Himself, who gives to you His own holiness, dignity, and righteousness.  

So come now.  Our Lord now invites you to receive Life, to remain in Him as He remains in you.  Amen.