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Worship Theme: What Child is This?
First Lesson: Genesis 3:8-15 (NIV)
Second Lesson: 1 John 4:9-14 (NIV)
Third Lesson : Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 (NIV)
Fourth Lesson : Micah 5:2-4 (NIV)
Fifth Lesson : Luke 1:26-35, 38 (NIV)
Sixth Lesson : Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)
Seventh Lesson : Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)
- CW 354: Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
- Senior Choir: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
- Solo: Here With Us
- Men's Chorus: Oh Holy Night
- Holy Is Your Name
- Senior Choir: Breath of Heaven
- CW 341: Away In A Manger
- CW 345: Where Shepherds Lately Knelt
- Duet: What Child Is This
- CW 337: Silent Night
Watch the livestream beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Christmas Eve. After the livestream is finished, the video will be available to watch at any time.
Message: What Child is This?
Pastor Jake Schram
“What child is this?” The thought must have come into the minds of Mary and Joseph as baby Jesus was born. What child could be born of a virgin? Only Jesus. The shepherds heard the angels herald the coming of this baby. They must have wondered, “What child is this?” and went to see for themselves. As a small boy in the temple courts, the priests were amazed at his wisdom and thought, “What child is this?
As Jesus grew older, he had the same effect on people. The only difference was he was no longer a child, but a man. The Pharisees saw him teaching something different from them and they thought, “What man is this? Who dares contradict us?” The people saw Jesus perform miracles and honestly wondered, “What man is this?” Some of the followers of Jesus listened to his teachings and exclaimed, “What man is this?” not as a question, but more as a pronouncement of amazement. They knew who he really was.
There are so many ways to phrase that question, but the real question this evening is how do you phrase the question? Or better yet, what answer do you provide to it? As you see the birth of baby Jesus, what child is this? Is he someone you really don’t know anything about, and you are just listening today because your family dragged you here? Hey, I’m glad you are here regardless of the circumstances. Maybe you knew Jesus as a kid, but since then you’ve grown apart like a long-lost friend. Or maybe you know well what child this is. I hope you do.
When I was younger, I would play the game “Guess Who.” How many of you are familiar with this game? If you are not familiar, it’s a game where you have around 24 pictures of people and your opponent has selected one of them. You get to ask questions to narrow down which character your opponent has and eventually you guess which one they picked. My friends and I would ramp it up a notch in where you couldn’t ask the easy questions. We’d ask things like, “Does your person look like they would own three pet goldfish? Is your character a generous candy-giver on Halloween? What would your character do-ooh-ooh for a Klondike bar? And it would be so hard to guess correctly because we would add all our own subjective opinions into the characters and quite often, we were completely wrong.
Now Jesus doesn’t want you to struggle in guessing who he is, but it can be hard if you are looking in the wrong place for information. Because if you are listening to the wrong people or reading the wrong things or just counting on your feelings, you can get terribly confused at what child this is. But God doesn’t want you to guess, and you don’t have to. In his Word, which he guided, which he put together through the Holy Spirit, he tells us exactly who this child is. There is no subjectivity to it. No guessing. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” That’s who this child is. Matthew 16:16 says of this child, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” That’s who this child is. From the text we just read, Luke 2:11 tells us, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Messiah is from a Hebrew word that means, “anointed.” It encompassed the long-expected king that would deliver his people to everlasting freedom. Jesus, whose birth we celebrate today, is that Messiah. It means Jesus has destroyed your past sins, it means you are freshly clean under his forgiveness, it means he is with you when you struggle through hardships. He helps you endure. And it means that you and your family can all be saved in his name. Death isn’t the end, but the beginning of something really, really good. What child is this? And today and every day we get to celebrate the life that started in manger to save us all. It’s Jesus, the anointed one who saves both you and me from sin, death, and the devil. Amen.