In The Words of Another

I didn’t want to write an obligatory Christmas post. Rather, I wanted to leave something of an offering here, something to relate where I’ve ended up this season, pondering and attempting to get my head around this Incarnation that has forever altered history. Last night, as I was passing time, I stumbled upon a reading of Karl Barth’s 1958 Christmas sermon, “He Stands by Us.” This, I think, encapsulates where I’ve been taken this Christmas:

“My dear brothers and sisters, let me get to the main point without delay. Who is he who was born the son of Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger? Who is he? I do not ask who he was. Christmas is not the birthday celebration of a man who lived long ago, then died and passed away, and whose centennial we solemnly commemorate. True, he once lived and then died–and how he died!–but he also rose from the dead; he is present and lives among us now, much closer to each one of us than we are to ourselves. Still, who is he? The answer to that question is the good news of Christmas.
Today, let me say simply this: He who was born in the stable is he who stands by you, stands by me, and stands by us all. I do not say one who stands by you, but he who stands by you. For only one, only he who was born on that first Christmas day, can stand by us in utter unselfishness and with ultimate authority and power…This is the good news of Christmas. He who stands by you and helps you is alive and present! It is he who was born that Christmas day! Open your eyes, open your ears, open your heart! You may truly see, hear, and experience that he is here, and stands by you as no one else can do!”

(You can find the entirety of the sermon re-printed here).

Blessings to all, and to all a good night.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.