*Sermon for Christmas Day 2021 Text: Luke 2:8-11 Theme: For you who fear…*
*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
*Luke 2:8-11 serves as our sermon text for this morning, which reads as
(8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
(9) 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.
(10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
(11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which
is Christ the Lord.
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen.
*Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*
*Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank You that of Your abundant mercy You
sent Your only begotten Son to be made man, thereby graciously causing us
to be saved from sin and eternal death. And we pray that You would
enlighten our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that we may give thanks to You
for this Your grace and take comfort in it in every distress and
tribulation, and so by Your Son, our Lord Christ, obtain eternal salvation.
*“**He looks just like you!**”*
*“**You can sure see his father there!**”*
*“**Look at that nose! Just like Aunt Gert**’**s!**”*
*We all know the game. *
*Peering through the glass on the neonatal floor or dropping off a meal for
the new family, you try to guess who Baby resembles. *
*I**’**m never very good at this. To me, all babies just look like babies.
But some people can see amazing resemblances**—**or at least think they
can. Perhaps they**’**re just seeing whatever they want to see.*
*Remarkably, all four Epistles appointed for Christmas**—**Christmas Eve,
Midnight, Dawn, and Day**—**look at our new baby and do see his family
Paul looks at the baby Jesus and tells Titus, “The *grace of God* has
appeared” (Titus 2:11).
Then he looks again, and says, “The *goodness and loving kindness of God*
our Savior appeared” (3:4).
The writer to the Hebrews exclaims: “He is the radiance of the *glory of
God* and the exact imprint of his *nature*” (Hebrews 1:3)!
And John, who knew him best of all, takes a good close look upon him, even
touches him with his hands, and recognizes, “In this the *love of God* was
made manifest among us” (1 John 4:9, emphases added).
*The baby Jesus looks just like God his Father:*
which means that in his Son, God has brought “salvation for all people”
has “saved us, . . . according to his own mercy” (3:5),
“upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3),
and has “sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him
” (1 John 4:9).
*1. What do you fear this morning?*
*On a different subject altogether, what do you fear this morning? *
*The usual things?*
Your after-Christmas bills?
Loss of health and mobility?
*2. Like the shepherds, we should rightly fear in light of the glory of
*The shepherds, too, were filled with fear on that first Christmas night,
but it wasn**’**t over the little stuff. *
*It wasn**’**t over the price of sheep, or the unseen dangers that lurked
in the darkness, or the decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world
should be taxed. *
*It was the angel of the Lord who appeared to them, and the glory of the
Lord that shone around them that caused the shepherds to fear as they were
out in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night. *
*They were **“**filled with great fear,**”** Luke tells us (verse 9). **“**Sore
afraid,**”** as the King James Bible says. The Greek literally says:
greatly afraid with terror.*
*Why were they so filled with fear and terror?*
The glory of the Lord that shone around them when God’s angelic messenger
spoke to them was in their very midst!
*This was a godly fear that the shepherds had.*
It was a fear that recognized and acknowledged the presence and holiness of
It was a fear that quietly confessed their utter unworthiness to be in the
presence of the holy God because of their unholy sin.
It was a fear that left the shepherds naked and exposed before God, whose
glory surrounded them when his messenger appeared to them on that cold
*And what about you and me? *
*We**’**re certainly not shepherds, but we do each have our own vocation: *
We each have our vocation, just as the shepherds did, and we live and move
and have our being in whatever “field” and over whatever “flock” God has
*And as often as we are confronted by God**’**s Word, the angel of the Lord
appears to us and the glory of the Lord shines around us as well. *
*For what are angels but God**’**s messengers whom he sends to do his
bidding and declare his Word:*
that Word which is “living and active” and “[pierces] to the division of
soul and of spirit,”
that Word which “[discerns] the thoughts and intentions of the heart” and
makes it so that
“no creature is hidden from [God’s] sight, but all are naked and exposed to
the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12–13).
*Yes, the glory of the Lord shines around us whenever and wherever our
lives come face-to-face with him who meets us in his Word. *
*“**For God, who said, **‘**Let light shine out of darkness,**’** has shone
in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the
face of Jesus Christ**”** (2 Cornithians 4:6). *
*And that glory of God which shines around us, as often as his Word breaks
into our comfortable lives:*
that glory of God should rightly leave us, like it left the shepherds,
filled with fear, utterly exposed, and sore afraid because of our sin.
* 3. But for you who have been led to a godly repentance for your sin,*
*The Message of Christmas**—**God**’**s Good News to You This Morning**—**Is
*But for you who are filled with fear at the prospect of standing before
God alone on Judgment Day, *
for you who have been led by God’s Spirit to a godly repentance for your
for you who are searching for cover for your nakedness and are craving the
love, mercy, and affection of our gracious God that Adam and Eve knew in
*For you The Message of Christmas**—**God**’**s Good News to You This
Morning**—**Is **“**Fear Not!**”*
*4. For God himself has acted to save you from your sin.*
*Fear not! *
*For God himself has acted decisively to save you from your sin. *
*He who created you, and was grieved by mankind**’**s turning away from
him, but who wants all people to be saved and to know life again as it was
in the beginning:*
this loving Lord of heaven and earth has sacrificed himself to buy his
creation back from the curse of sin.
He has done what only God could do to right the situation!
God the Father has sent his one and only divine Son into this world to
assume our human nature, to become sin for us, to live up to God’s Law
perfectly for us, and then to give his life into death also for us and for
all people, to silence the accusation of the Law forever!
We frail humans are sometimes forced to cancel Christmas services on
account of bad weather, but on that first Christmas, God gave birth to his
plan to cancel sin—forever! “
Fear not [the angel said], for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city
of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (verses 10–11).
*5. So **“**Fear not!**”** this day or any day, including your last.*
*And in Christ there**’**s no need to fear when surrounded by the glory of
the Lord. *
*In Christ, there**’**s no need to fear at the prospect of standing before
your Maker on the Last Day, because in believing that Word of the angel to
the shepherds, you will not stand alone! *
*Instead, by faith, you always stand in Christ! *
*And in Christ: *
that is, fearing and loving and trusting him above all things
God’s final Word to you is good news.
It is grace and mercy.
*Because Jesus Christ has borne in his own naked body, exposed and hanging
on a cross, the full wrath of God over your sin.*
*So **“**Fear not!**”** on this warm winter morning. *
*Fear not any day of your life, including your last. *
*“**For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is
Christ the Lord**”** (verse 11). Amen.*
*Let us pray: *
Most merciful God, You gave Your eternal Word to become incarnate of thte
pure Virgin. Grant Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts, that they
may be ready for Your visitation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
*The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.*
*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*