Christmas Eve Lesson #1: Do we worship baby Jesus?

Christmas Eve Lesson #1: Do we worship baby Jesus?

Welcome to our lessons and carols Christmas Eve service. My name is Jonathan Romig and I am the Pastor of this church. We’ve just opened our time by singing O Come, All Ye Faithful. I think this is a great Christmas carol to open with because it’s invitation to us to come and worship Christ Jesus. But who is the Jesus we’ve come to worship?

I once saw a scene in a movie that I thought made a really great sermon illustration. But I never thought I would bring this scene up at a Christmas Eve service. The scene is from the movie Talladega Nights. This is a NASCAR driving movie starting Will Ferrell and in it his character, Ricky Bobby, prays to “Dear baby Jesus.” He actually gets into an argument with his wife and father-in law because he prays this way. His wife interrupts him when he’s praying to baby Jesus.

Carley: You know sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don’t always have to call him baby. It’s a bit odd and off puttin’ to pray to a baby.

Ricky: Well look, I like the Christmas Jesus best, and I’m sayin grace. When you say grace, you can say it to grown up Jesus, or teenage Jesus, or bearded Jesus, or whatever you want.

I think that’s a great illustration because although it’s funny, it also get’s right down to the heart of Christmas. When you think of Jesus this Christmas who are you thinking of? Are you thinking of the sweet innocent baby in the manger? He’s the harmless Jesus. He’s the Jesus who can’t do much but sleep, cry, and eat. He won’t tell you how to live your life. He doesn’t expect much of you.

Or are you thinking of the grown up Jesus who died and rose again and is seated on the throne next to God the Father? That Jesus is Lord of all, including your life. In the first verse of O Come, All Ye Faithful we do sing to Jesus born at Bethlehem, but he is “born the King of Angels.” Even in the first verse we recognize this isn’t a harmless baby, but one who has power and authority. And although each verse sings about some aspect of his birth, each ends with the words, “O come, let us adore Him Christ the Lord!” To be Lord is to rule. To be Lord is to be king. To be Lord is to be sovereign. 

Jesus was king at his birth and he is king today. But he’s no longer a baby. The New Testament book of Hebrews says this about Jesus.

Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (ESV)

Yes, at Christmas we come to remember the birth of Jesus. But when we sing to Jesus we’re not singing to a baby. We’re singing to the living reigning Lord. “O come, let us adore him. Christ the Lord!” Join me as we continue to worship and sing to Christ Jesus, our Lord and King, no longer a baby but the one who sits on heaven’s throne.

Pastor Jonathan wrote this homily for Cornerstone’s Lessons & Carols Christmas Eve Service.