Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!


Christmas Morning
December 26, 2013, 11:37 am
Filed under: Sermons

Sermon preached at All Hallows (also on Parish Website)

A very happy Christmas to you all! I want to be very brief this morning. Why are we here? Because we know that the most important thing about Christmas Day is not the turkey and mince pies (or whatever), but the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ. I said on Sunday that the title “Emmanuel” means God-with-us. This is the day that God himself was born, beginning a human life that was to lead in the fullness of time to the Cross. Jesus was born to save us.

We are all God’s children. What does he want most of all? Like every lesser father- at least, as every lesser father should- he wants his children to love one another. What grieves him most is to see his children quarrelling, hurting one another, being unkind to one another. Most of the worst suffering in the world comes from human beings own selfishness and unkindness and lack of love for one another. Yes, there is sickness and bereavement, and natural disaster: but how much even these things are made easier to bear when there is human concern and support, how much harder when there is not.

God was born in poverty, as a refugee. Mary and Joseph were homeless at the actual moment the Babe was born. Soon afterwards, they were asylum-seekers in Egypt. Although Jesus was by right the Messiah, the true King not only of Israel but of all the nations, he hid his glory. His first courtiers were simple shepherds, and then a group of foreign astrologers (the Gospel says nothing of kings!). Like the shepherds, we have come to the manger to see this thing that has come to pass, that the Lord has made known to us. Like the wise men, we have come to worship, and to offer him our gifts- as the hymn says, what I can I give him: give my heart.

Jesus did not remain a baby, of course. He grew up. I was looking recently at pictures of my own children when they were very small, and remembering those special days and years. Now they are all grown up, but they are still the same people they were. It is the same Jesus whom we remember today, lying in the manger or cradled in Mary’s arms, with Joseph standing by to guard them- it is the same Jesus that we meet today when he comes to us, even more hidden, in the Blessed Sacrament. The Word made flesh; God-with-us. O come, let us adore him! Have a very happy and blessed Christmas.

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