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That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Christmas Eve Vespers Sermon.


mary jesusChristmas Eve Vespers

St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 1:18-25

December 24, 2012

“That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Jesu Juva

 

That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

 

What a difficult thing to believe, even if you had a dream of an angel!  People would say you were a fool.

 

Have you ever noticed that we are able to stand firm against the skepticism of the world when it comes to what the Bible says about Jesus’ birth, but we struggle when it comes to believing things like this today? 

 

The Holy Spirit lives in us, conceives in us; yet we look on the outward appearance and not the word.  We see the sin in us and we doubt that what is conceived in us is from the Holy Spirit.

 

So with the church.  So with pastors. 

 

  1. 1.         Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit.

The mighty Lord who made the world fruitful, hovering over the waters, recreated the world, the universe, in Mary’s womb.

 

In Adam the universe was corrupted.

 

In Christ it is made whole.  The baby conceived in her by the Holy Spirit is the rebirth of the world.

 

He is and was a new man.  He is a new creation.  One man brought sin into the world.  Another, born without sin, made it whole.

 

Since Jesus was conceived without sinful seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was born without stain.

 

  1. 2.        Our corrupt birth

Independent of moral and religious striving.

 

You should strive to be good according to the law.  But to be saved from sin, you need to be created again.

 

  1. 3.        His name is “Jesus”—“the Lord saves.” 

He comes to save us from our sins. 

 

The angel doesn’t say how.

 

Lots of religions say we don’t need to be saved from our sins.  Or we only need some help.

 

How does Jesus being conceived without sin save me from my sins? 

 

You know the answer.  But you don’t need to know it; only to receive the message of the angel.

 

For those who cannot save themselves from sin, this angel holds out a promise. 

 

This is not what the world is looking to be saved from.  But you will also be saved from your earthly pain too—in the end.

 

holy family4.       His name is Immanuel—God with us.

He is with us.  Jesus is not pretending to know what it is like to be a human being.  He is truly man.  And He is truly God.  He is what we are.  He is truly the offspring of a woman, just like us.

 

He is able to help us because He is without sin.

 

He is free from that corruption; but He takes our corruption on Himself.

 

  1. 5.        So He is with us in our earthly troubles.

He is with us even though we are sinners. 

 

It seemed foolish for Joseph to believe that.  It seems like folly for us to put our trust in that.

 

Yet the truth is that it is folly not to believe it.  The Holy Spirit who conceived Jesus and recreated the universe in Mary’s womb also planted you in Jesus in baptism.

 

In mary’s womb, on the cross, in the resurrection, and the right hand of God.

 

Why resist the Spirit who brought the earth into being when He seeks to conceive in you?

 

It will get you into difficulties, like Mary.  But in the end your righteous will shine like the sun.

 

The foolish thing that Joseph believed is the hope of the ends of the earth.  God was with us in Mary’s womb; He is with us now at the right hand of God.

 

Amen.

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