This is the Christ, our God Most High,
Who hears your sad and bitter cry;
He will Himself your Savior be
From all your sins to set you free.
(LSB 358 st. 3)
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
When the shepherds of Bethlehem saw the angel of the Lord standing in the glory of the Lord before them, they were rightly terrified. They were terrified because they were sinners and inherently knew that to be in the presence of God’s glory meant certain death. Yet the angel told them not to fear, and while the glory of the Lord was shining around them, he told them of the good news and great joy that was wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. The angel told them of the true glory of the Lord that would have been unrecognizable without his preaching. He told them of the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
What they would have never known by themselves or from themselves, the shepherds now knew by the words of the angel. Amid the terror of their sinful flesh they heard the comforting Word of God telling them of their Savior. Because of what this child would do one day on the cross for all people, the multitude of the heavenly host praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). May we rejoice today along with the heavenly hosts when we hear this Word preached to us, and by faith receive the forgiveness of sins because of Jesus Christ the Lord, who was born, lived, and died for us.
Let us pray: Almighty God, enliven our hearts by Your Word and Spirit so that we would rejoice in the proclamation of Your only-begotten Son being born in the flesh for our salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Garrett Buvinghausen, Sem IV)