The fact that the child in manger was born for me changes everything and that is why I wrote this song – “As near as my heart beat.”

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Luther preached three Sermons on Christmas Day – this is a part of one

“Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”.  For whom was he conceived and born? For whom did he suffer and die? For us, for us, for us! Always add us! That is why the fathers rightly put the word [in the creed]: And in Jesus Christ, our Lord.” We should relate this word to every sentence: conceived for us and born for us, suffered for us and raised for us, ascended for us and sitting at the right [hand of God] for us. For [it is no accident that] the words, are followed And in Jesus [Christ his only Son] our Lord.”   With these words, we seek to take him unto ourselves, to make him our Lord, the head of our family, our  Father.

In the same way, this word “ our Lord” must be included with all [the following] sentences so they don’t just stand there naked. They are all about us. Christ didn’t need these works.  He would have remained a lord quite well without them. Rather, his conception and birth, his suffering and death, his ascension and sitting at the right hand are all for our benefit. They belong to us. Note that well!

That is why Isaiah says, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” It is like when women [approach a baby’s cradle and] say, “Oh, a baby! What is it?” And I answer, “It’s a boy—and he’s ours!” What an incredible thing to say, that all of us should somehow be the mothers of one whom we have not carried [in our womb]!  He is given to us as though he were our own son. How proud and honored we are that he is our son, that he belongs to us. But it is not enough that he is “born” to us; he is also “given” to us. What does “given” mean? He is a [pure] gift, a present. There is nothing I have to give or pay in return. Woe to the godless and ungrateful world that disdains this gift.

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