Sermon by Bishop Michael Hawkins
(The readings may be found here)
Our joy today is threefold, for we celebrate today three births in this Christmas communion.
1. This is the Nativity of our Lord, or the Birthday of Christ, when the Word made flesh was born of the Virgin Mary. We rejoice that he was born for us and unto us. We rejoice that, as the Creed says, for us men (and women) and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
2. But there is a second birthday today, highlighted by St. John and our Collect. This is the re-birthday of humanity, for by receiving him in faith, we are born again of God, as his children. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his Name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” He became the Son of man that we might become the sons of God. When he is born we are re-born, for he was born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
3. Finally, today we celebrate not only that Christ is born for us, and that we are born again in him, but that he may be born in us. And we may well pray, “O holy child of Bethlehem, be born in us today,” that he may evermore dwell in us. Amen.