Christmas Day Reading
Jesus, the Messiah, the God who created cows and donkeys, is now laying in the place where those cows and donkeys eat. He is being watched over by parents named Mary and Joseph.
The names Mary and Joseph follow Jesus for the rest of his life. When he spoke and prophesied in Nazareth, people said, “‘ Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?  And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’  And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.’  And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:55-58).
People in his hometown new him as Mary and Joseph’s son. He was the little boy who ran down the street in front of their shops. He went to synagogue with their children. “How could this boy be special?” They asked one another. They did not believe he was the Messiah. To them he was just Mary and Joseph’s boy.
Another time we see this come up is when Jesus was in Capernaum teaching:
 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:32-40
Right after this, we read, “ So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” (John 6:41-42). To them Jesus was just Mary and Joseph’s son. He was Mary and Joseph’s son who was fully human. The Jews close to him could not see he was so much more.
We have spent much time over the last month looking at many of Jesus’ names. He is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. He is the Son of Man and the son of God. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He is the Last Adam who obeyed God at the tree and brought life back into this world through his death. He is the Cornerstone, a worthy foundation. He is Jesus the savior and the Messiah, God’s anointed who was promised long ago. He is he First and the Last, everything we need. He is the Lion of Judah. He is Lord. He is a teacher, a prophet, and the King. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Son of David. He is called Faithful and True. He even bears a name no one knows. He is more than we could study in one month or even a lifetime.
Today is Christmas Day. There will be joy and excitement and rushing around. But, save some time for reflection. As you take a few minutes, think about Jesus, Mary and Joseph’s son. The one they watched over in the manger. They one they rocked through the night on that first Christmas. They little baby who was fully God and fully man. Praise God that this baby was born as a baby boy to Mary and Joseph. Praise God that this little baby is the God of the Universe who was born to die so we may be called be sons and daughters in God’s family.
God was pleased to have his son be Mary and Joseph’s son, born to lowly parents in a lowly manger. But, we also read in Philippians 2: 8-11, “ And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” He holds a name that is above every other name, yet he has written your name in his hands. He loves you and cherishes you. He will not forget you. He has called you by name. You are his.
Father, thank you for sending Jesus your Son and true image.
Jesus, thank you for humbling yourself to be born in flesh so we may see God. Thank you for dwelling among us so we may know God.
Spirit, fill us with power today to worship and be glad. Renew us in the image of our creator so Jesus may be seen in us.
Our God who is three in one, we come before you to worship you on this Christmas day. As our day is filled with presents and food, may our hearts be filled with gratitude for your good works. You alone have given us a reason to live. You alone have given us a reason to praise. You alone have given us a reason to sing.
You have given us the great gift of joy through your Son. Through him you have made yourself known. Today as we celebrate with family and friends, may your name be praised today and forever! Amen.