The Christmas Sermon of St. John Chrysostom
For all of you who are preaching in the next few days, I would like to share this fine homiletical gem. Perhaps this will provide inspiration for your preaching. There’s a reason John was called “the golden tongued”. This sermon brilliantly encapsulates the radiance of Christmas. Not surprisingly, the gift of Christmas has nothing to do with malls, shopping, trees, presents, Santa, sappy carols, or even family gatherings. It’s about salvation itself. Boundless grace!
Here’s an excerpt:
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.
Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been implanted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.