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Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! Our devotion focuses on the Gospel of the day and comes from Meditations on the Gospels.

Scripture Readings

Isaiah 52:7–10
Psalm 2
Hebrews 1:1–12
John 1:1–18

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

Today we celebrate Jesus’ birth in the flesh, when God sent His Son into the muck of this world to save us from our sin. Yet this Jesus, born as a man, is also true God, begotten of the Father from all eternity. He is fully divine and yet fully human.

Devotional Reading

John introduces his Gospel with a prologue, a preface, of eighteen verses. These verses reach down into the very depths of divine truth, and they do it in language that is so simple, so clear, and so meaningful (most of the words have only one syllable) that all who read it can understand it. . . .

Matthew begins his Gospel with Abraham, Mark starts his with the ministry of John the Baptist, and Luke carries us all the way back to Adam. But John takes us behind the veil of time for his beginning. Genesis and John’s Gospel have the same opening words, “in the beginning”—“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and “In the beginning was the Word.” John is the only evangelist who speaks of the Savior as “the Word,” as the Eternal One through whom the Father speaks and through whom He has made His gracious will known to man. But John is by no means the only Bible penman who speaks of Jesus in the exalted and majestic language of this prologue. The apostle Paul, who had written some thirty years earlier, makes the very same claims for Christ (Colossians 1:11–20).

Jesus is true God, says John. He is eternal: He was “in the beginning.” He is omnipotent: “All things were made through Him.” He is the only source of all light and life: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Those who do not know Jesus as the true God know neither Jesus nor God. “All may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23).

“From His fullness we have all received,” says John. Christ is the fountainhead of every blessing for the Christian. All that we are, all that we have, we have received of “His fullness.” Forgiveness of sins, peace, love, joy, and the blessed assurance of eternal life in heaven through His blood—these, and more, we have received from the limitless treasuries of heaven through the matchless name of Jesus!

Devotional reading is from Meditations on the Gospels, pages 676–78 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Originally published in 1948 as The Devotional Bible. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Hymn is “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” hymn 358 from Lutheran Service Book. Video © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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