Today is called the Birthday of the Lord, when the Wisdom of God showed himself as an infant, and the Word of God spoke the voice of flesh without words. However, that hidden divinity was made known to the Magi with a heavenly witness, and was announced to the shepherds with an angelic voice.
And so, as is our yearly custom, we celebrate this day – the day on which the prophecy was fulfilled which says:
“Truth sprang forth from the earth,
and righteousness looked down from heaven” (Ps. 85:11).
The Truth which is in the lap of the Father sprang forth from the earth to be in the lap of a mother also.
The Truth in which the universe is contained sprang forth from the earth to be carried in the hands of a woman.
The Truth by which the happiness of Angels is unfailingly nourished sprang forth from the earth to be nursed by breasts of flesh.
The Truth for whom heaven is not enough sprang forth from the earth to be placed in a manger.
For whose good came such sublimity in such humility? Certainly He came for no good of His own, but for our great good – if we believe.
God became man for you!
“Arise, you who sleep, and get up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Eph. 5:14). For you, I say, God became man. You would have been dead for eternity, unless he had been born in time. You never would have been set free from sinful flesh, unless he had taken on the likeness of sinful flesh. Everlasting misery would have possessed you, unless this mercy had been born. You would not have revived, unless he had met with you at your death. You would have given up, unless he had come to help you.
You would have perished, if he had not come.
“Righteousness looked down from heaven.”
Let us celebrate the arrival of our salvation and redemption!
Let us celebrate this feast day, on which the great and eternal day came from the great and eternal day into this, our so brief temporal day!
Here righteousness is made for us, and sanctification, and redemption: So that, just as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17).
So that we would not resemble the pride of the Jews, who “ignoring God’s righteousness, and wishing to construct their own righteousness, were not obedient to God’s righteousness” – this is the reason why when he had said, “Truth sprang forth from the earth,” he soon added, “and righteousness looked down from heaven.”
He said this so that mortal weakness would not confer “righteousness” upon itself … and reject God’s righteousness.
Therefore, “truth sprang forth from earth.” Christ, who said, “I am the truth,” was born of a virgin.
“And righteousness looked down from heaven.” By believing in Him who was born, man is not justified by himself. He is justified by God.
“Truth sprang forth from earth.” Because “the Word became flesh.”
“And righteousness looked down from heaven.” Because “every best gift and every complete gift is from above.”
“Truth sprang forth from earth,” from the flesh of Mary.
“And righteousness looked down from heaven.” Because “a man is not able to receive anything, unless it is a gift to him from heaven.”
You will not find anything except grace.
“And so, being justified by faith, let us have peace before God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through whom also we have an entrance into the grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of God’s glory” (Rom. 5:1-2).
Brothers, allow me to intermingle a few words of this psalm with these few apostolic words which you are reviewing with me, to discover how well they fit together.
“Being justified by faith, let us have peace before God.” Because “righteousness and peace have kissed” (Ps. 85:10).
“Through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because “Truth sprang forth from the earth.”
“Through whom also we have an entrance into the grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of God’s glory.”
It does not say “our glory.” It says “God’s glory”!
Righteousness did not come from ourselves, but looked down from heaven. Therefore, he who glories, let him glory in the Lord, not in himself!
For this reason the proclamation of angelic voice is made – and because of the virgin birth of the Lord whose Birthday we celebrate today: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will” (Luke 2:14).
For why is there peace on earth, unless it is because “Truth sprang forth from the earth.” That is, unless Christ was born in the flesh?
And he himself is our peace who made both one,” so that we may be “men of good will,” sweetly bound together in fetters of unity.
In this grace, therefore, let us rejoice, so that our glory may be the evidence of our conscience. Let us not glory in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why it is said: “My glory, and the lifter of my head” (Ps. 3:3).
What greater grace of God could dawn on us than having the Only-Begotten Son, to make him the son of man, and thus in turn, having the son of man, to make him the Son of God?
Search for merit. Search for a reason. Search for justice.
See whether you find anything except grace.