Christmas Eve- December 24, 2017 – Isaiah 9:2-7, Luke 2:1-20

Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-20

Discount Lutheran Church

Christmas Eve – December 24, 2017

Discount Lutheran Church – Winnipeg, MB


Invite people to let their candles remain lit.


I’m thinking about changing the name of First Lutheran Church.  Maybe we could vote on it!

It’s been changed before – we started out as Trinity Lutheran Church.

But at some point lost in the mists of time we changed our name to First Lutheran Church.

The new name?

Well, at one end of the block we’re on Discount Everything has been going for years.

At the other end, Discount Village has just opened shop.

So for the last month or so I’ve been thinking that we should change our name to

Discount Lutheran Church – the church where “Jesus Saves.”

Think about it: people could come pick up some doorstops at Discount Everything,

maybe some Christmas Lights at Discount Village, then pop in for

a little grace and warmth at no cost at Discount Lutheran Church.


I’m thinking about Discount Lutheran Church on this night because I’m thinking about

Luke’s beautiful Christmas story.

And I’m thinking about who God comes to when God comes among us in Jesus.

Yes: he comes when the Romans are counting the population in order to calculate

just how much more money they can squeeze out of the people in taxes –

in order to pay for the massive army that is occupying them.

But God in Jesus – God in Jesus comes to the discounted – those who are of no account.

God comes to Mary, and tells her she will be the one to bear the child.

She is poor, she is young, she is unmarried, she comes from the tiniest of towns.

She is discounted in the eyes of the world.

And yet: God comes to her, and tells her she will bear God’s light and love to the whole world.

The light and love of God always comes to the discounted –

that is the great good news in the biblical story from beginning to end.


What does Isaiah say this evening?

To a discounted people who exist in a living darkness,

who, like’s Mary’s people, live under foreign rule,

who feel powerless,

who are without hope –

to these people Isaiah announces: You, the people in darkness, see a great light.

He sees the light of fire, the same fire you hold in your hand, and he sees that fire burning

all the implements of war so that all people may finally live in peace.

Isaiah proclaims the possibility of real change in the world.

And it begins with the light coming to the discounted – a light they can hold,

a light they can share.


Look at the stars.

The light of stars comes doggedly to us, from unimaginably far away,

through the darkness and desolation and emptiness of space – to shine on us,

on our tiny blue green speck of a home.

This is how the great light of God comes to us, comes to us all, everywhere,

comes to those in darkness, comes to the discounted, of every time and every place.


What is your deep darkness?

What is your deep oppression?


Tonight is a night, maybe the one night a year,

when you can physically hold a light in the darkness.

And long after you have forgotten every single word I’ve said,

you’ll remember that, for a time, the light came to you from your neighbour –

and you held it.

It is for you – and it’s yours.


Yes: the light comes to the discounted.

Yes: the light comes doggedly to us.

Yes: Jesus comes to those of no account.

This light and this love are for everyone on this night.

It comes to you and it comes to the people of Discount Lutheran Church.

And it comes, Isaiah proclaims to us, in order to change the world.

Through you.


God chose Mary to bear God’s light and love to the world – and Mary believed that

the world would be changed through her: the hungry would be fed and

the rich would empty themselves and share what they had.

Martin Luther believed that each of us is Mary, perhaps of no account to the world,

but of great account in the eyes of God.

For each of us is capable of bearing the light and love and grace of God to the world.

Each of us now, on this night, is Mary.

Together, as the people of Discount Lutheran Church, we are Mary.

Bearing light to all who feel discounted.

Discount Lutheran Church is for all who feel discounted –

the light is shining here and together the people of Discount Lutheran are

changing the texture of this neighbourhood at Sargent and Victor.

So hold the light a little longer –

remember this light has come to you in your darkness on this night.

And remember this light can come through you as you share it with those around you.

So together, let us say, “Amen.”


Pastor Michael Kurtz






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