The Very First Christmas Sermon

The very first Christmas sermon on record. From Tony Jones at Theoblogy:

John “Golden Mouth” Chrysostom preached the first known Christmas sermon in AD 386…It both beautifully written and theologically profound. How I would have loved to have heard him deliver it!

I agree with Tony. This sermon is beautiful, and I wish I could have heard ole “Golden Mouth” proclaim it too. Here are a few excerpts from this exceptional homily:

BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.  The Angels sing.  The Archangels blend their voice in harmony.  The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise.  The Seraphim exalt His glory.  All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven.  He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised…

What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth.  The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend…

What shall I say!  And how shall I describe this Birth to you?  For this wonder fills me with astonishment.  The Ancient of days has become an infant.  He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger.  And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men.  He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infants bands.  But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness.

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life.  He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me…

Why is this?  Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh.  He did not become God.  He was God…

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever.  Amen.

In light of the Christmas season I greatly encourage you to read the full sermon here. I trust you will be edified.

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