The First Sunday after Christmas
Sermon by Bishop Michael Hawkins
(The readings may be found here)
“God sent forth his Son, made of a woman…to redeem, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
This is the Gospel of Christmas, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, expressed here so succinctly in those twin terms of adoption and redemption. Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem us, to buy us back from sin and death, to redeem us from that slavery to fear and decay, into the freedom and righteousness of God’s children. God sent forth his Son to redeem, but also that we might receive adoption. As many as receive Jesus, to them is given the power to become God’s children. We who were rebellious servants have become redeemed children. We who knew only the dread of our Creator know now the love of our Father.
All this is ours through Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. The so-called spirit of Christmas is fading quickly all around us, but the true Spirit of Christmas, the Holy Spirit, is still with us. By that Spirit, Mary conceived the son of God in her womb. And by that same Spirit, we become God’s children. Our Christmas prayer is that we may daily be renewed by the same Holy Spirit of Jesus, that we might know God as our Father, ourselves as his children, and one another as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, and might have power to live and love as such. +