Christmas in 3 Words

Gate Pa – Year C - Christmas Day 2018,

Readings:
First Reading:                          Isaiah 9:2-7                                 
Gospel:                        Luke 2:1-20                                        

What I want to say:
Christmas is important but it is not the point; Christmas is dangerous; Christmas depends on you and me.

What I want to happen:
People to live all the Christmas story beyond Christmas day by living God’s compassion, generosity, justice; joining in the ongoing work of bringing in the reign God’s peace, hope, joy, love.

The Sermon

        1.     Introduction:

This Christmas I want to offer you three phrases to help you think about Christmas beyond today,
-         beyond the presents
-         good food
-         time with family and friends
-         Christmas decorations

       2.     Christmas is important by its not the point

Christmas is important
celebration of God the Eternal Word
coming to us as one of us
that’s pretty big
God’s first self-giving thought
to enfold us and all creation into the peace, hope, joy and love of God
so it’s important
but the point is what happens after Christmas
only 2 gospels even have a Christmas story
Christmas was only small part of the story
what happened in rest of the story that was important
Advent about
-         Christ in history – Christmas and whole gospel
-         Christ in mystery – ongoing work of crucified and risen Christ in our world today
-         Christ in majesty – when all God is working for is complete
Christmas is important but it’s not the point

        3.     Christmas is Dangerous

Sunday we spent some time looking at Mary’s song
Mary was girl small collection of caves called Nazareth on hillside
living under Roman occupation
lives dictated by Rome and their vassal rulers
and wealthy ruling elite of Jerusalem.
her song celebration God’s faithful love
in face that she says
You have cast down the mighty from their thrones:
and have lifted up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things:
and the rich you have sent away empty.”
-          social upheaval and reversal on grand scale
-         it was dangerous
she is setting scene for her son
-         was dangerous for him
-         he ended up being executed for living out his mother’s prophetic call
-         if we take Christmas seriously
-         invited to join in
-         continues to be dangerous

       4.     Christmas needs you and me

not just story from past
invitation to join God’s ongoing work
join Christ in mystery
bringing in reign of justice and peace
live out Gods relentless faithfulness
restoring creation and renewing humanity

  5. Invitation

may today be grand celebration
but tomorrow
invite you to reflect on
-         Christmas is important but it is not the point;
-         Christmas is dangerous;
-         Christmas needs on you and me.

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