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Christmas Eve, 2007

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Christmas Eve, 2007

“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

What makes these longest nights of the year so full of hope? What makes us think that after a whole year that has been filled with human sin, with violence, despair, sickness, and death, that we have hope? What makes us think we have hope in this sorry world, so lost, so forlorn, where help comes too late, and it all comes to an end?

It is quite simple really: God has come to be with us and seems all the more powerful in the weakness and vulnerability of a little baby, come out of heaven, touching us all, because we know that God is with us in this child; yes, that God hatched a wonderful new plan to save us, coming to do it himself. God himself is among us, born for us in Mary’s little child, her first-born son. That is what fills us with hope.

Sure, he is not yet a man. He has not yet done the heavenly miracles that accompanied his walk in life as he lifted up his voice, calling all people to return to God. He had not yet given his life for ours in that love that is far greater than we poor sinners have ever known. He was still a baby, just new born, as a matter of fact, in that first new-born cry, that makes us realize, “That is a new life; that is a new human being, a new person, come into the world, where we are weary and worn and so very spent in our lives.

What a thing to be in the next room, waiting together, for the new born cry. The midwife is there, in the working quiet, everyone waiting. Then you hear it. There it is. “Do you hear?” You ask as you turn to your brothers and sisters, look at their faces, and see them smile as their hearts are set aglow.

And what you know is that now God, who out of heaven’s miracles already fashioned and created this whole world, has now come to be one of us and not only to point out the way of life for us, but be in us and among us filling us with heavenly life, filling us with heavenly love, filling us with heavenly hope, and heavenly faith.

What infinite love overwhelms us when our Savior dies on the cross; what infinite love overwhelms us when Mary lays the little babe in the manger!

So no matter how long and dark the night, all the stars shine to bear witness, and come through to us with God’s light, from the world that is to come.

The Christmas tree also bears witness, in the glowing bulbs, the splashing colors from the ornaments and decorations, in the scintillating icicles, and in all the lights, you see the sparkling new world that the Christ-child came to us to bring. The tree sets the room aglow, the way the Christ-child sets our hearts aglow, the way the Christmas lights set our houses aglow, our streets, even our downtown center-city.

The evergreen tree outside and in the forest also bears witness naturally, because its needles never fall and remain forever green, whether in the summer or winter, and thereby it points to the forever world, where through our tears in the Christmas glow, we can see our parents, all the loved ones already there, waiting for us, but shining through our darkest and longest night, with the deepest and richest love, that the Light of the World came to us to bring. From there in that world to come, where there is no more suffering, no more fear, loneliness, violence, sickness, death, and no more war – shining through to us here in so many candles, so many lights, so many sparkling, silvery icicles, with our hearts and faces all aglow, as we gather around Mary and Joseph, the manger with the child, listening to the shepherds, as all the angels sing. Amen.

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Written by peterkrey

December 24, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Selected Sermons

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