I am posting this on Christmas Eve. Snow is falling, and I’m listening to the live broadcast of the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge. I won’t be reading blogs on Christmas Day, and I’m guessing that many of you will not either. It is my Christmas tradition to post the first known Christmas sermon. A blessed Christmas to you and yours.
John “Golden Mouth” Chrysostom preached the first known Christmas sermon in AD 386 (the same year that Augustine converted to Christianity — what a year!). In this case, the first is the best. It both beautifully written and theologically profound. How I would have loved to have heard him deliver it! I commend it for your reading in the next couple of days.
BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.