The First Sunday after Christmas
Sermon by Bishop Michael Hawkins
(The readings may be found here)
“As many as received him, to them God gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
We think about Christmas today in terms of adoption and redemption. God sent forth his Son to redeem, St. Paul tells us. The Son of God came into the world. Jesus was born to redeem. But Paul goes on to say also, that God sent forth his Son that we might receive adoption as sons. Redemption and Adoption are also before us in the Gospel reading. Jesus is to be the name of Mary’s son, for he shall save his people from their sins. And Joseph’s task given him by the angel is to be Jesus’ adoptive father.
The birth of Jesus is about our redemption and adoption. Christ is the Saviour” He has come to redeem us, to buy us back from sin and death, to redeem us from fear, guilt and moral slavery, into freedom, righteousness and peace. And Christ is our brother, in the flesh. He has come in our flesh and blood, and he was born into the human family, that we might be adopted into God’s family. He became our brother in the flesh that we might become through him, the children of his Father in the Spirit. St. John tells us that this redeemed sonship, to be a forgiven child, is there for all who will receive and believe. Let us receive and believe this day.