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SERMON: Christmas Eve

Here are a couple of REALLY GOOD Christmas Eve sermons and some excerpts from each one...

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Christmas Eve 
Fear not! Those were the first words of heaven spoken that first Christmas night. These were just the right words spoken to a fearful humanity. These are just the right words for you and me tonight. For though we are separated from these shepherds in both time and space we are not separated by nature. Like them we bear the burden of many fears. Ever since Adam’s fall in the garden humanity has been trying to bear a burden we were never created to shoulder. And we have failed, we have failed miserably. Such failure has furthered our fears and we go about our days, trying our best to keep watch over our littles by night and by day. We work but we do so grudgingly. We play, but our play has become a means only to alleviate our fears.mWe worship, hoping to appease the one to whom we will someday give an account. We long for a security that will last, a peace that passes all understanding, a rest from the weariness of hauling a burden we can’t seem to fully grasp, nor bring ourselves to surrender. Fear of the future and regret of the past causes anxiety today. Today is all we have and all weigh heavy on our hearts. We are a broken people, a hurting race, a sinful nation. The good that we want to do we don’t know how to do because what we really want to do is make up for the bad we have done. The wrong we don’t want to do is all that we do because we’re too busy trying to fix what we’ve broken with our selfishness. And so we wander about the cliffs afraid to fall further into the darkness of the night, afraid of failure in our vocations, afraid of losing loved ones, afraid of being lost in a chaotic world, afraid of dying, and worst of all afraid of heaven’s descent. 
Thus the Angel’s words from your Father in heaven are the words we fallen ones need the most. Trembling with fear, stopped dead in our tracks because of our sins, God sends His messenger. “Fear Not! For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” Heaven’s descent is not for our judgment but quite the contrary. It is for our redemption. One is born to take your place. One is born for you. One is born who will neither fail nor lose. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Him this night! Heaven has descended to save us. Christ is born of Mary. God has become flesh. The creator of earth and heaven has Himself become one with humanity, one of us, one of you, One for you, One for All. He is Christ and He is Lord, He is Messiah and He is God, and His Name is Jesus for He will save His people from their sins. He will shoulder the burden of our sins. He will suffer the shame of our guilt. Upon Him will the chastisement of our peace fall. Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me and you. And all of this is for you, this message of God’s Son is for you, for all who fear the future, regret the past and are anxious about today, for all who are wearied with their sins and desire rest from this earthly chaos.


“Home for the Holidays” (Sermon for Christmas Eve, by Pr. Charles Henrickson) 
Christ left His home in heaven to make His home here among us. Among us less than perfect people–well, let’s face it, among us sinners, the people who can put on a cheery front at a party but underneath are filled with loneliness and regret and guilt. And while we’re sitting in the living room, death is always lurking around the corner. So this is why Christ came, and this is why Christmas is a holy day. The baby born in Bethlehem came on a heavenly mission: to save us sinners from ourselves, to redeem us from our sins, to set us free from the fear of death and condemnation.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I pray that you and your loved ones hear the Gospel preached like this over these next 24-48 hours, and that you all have a truly blessed Christmas.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to "Confessional Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 4 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavily influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I will defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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