Revd Linda Whetter's Sermon for Christmas Day

Sermon Christmas day 2020

 

First Reading Isaiah 52:7-10

Second Reading Hebrews 1:1-4 [5-12]

Gospel John 1:1-14

 

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

(John 1:5)

 

After the year we have just had, these words of hope are particularly welcome today, the day we remember with joy the birth of Christ, the day we  celebrate God’s love for us all, the day we look at the Christ child in the cradle opening his arms wide to welcoming all into the heart of God’s love, God who came to us in Jesus and shares our lives today.  However as John reminds us, not everyone is filled with joy at this message. ‘He came to what was his own’, John told us in the Gospel, ‘and his own people did not accept him’.  And this message is particularly poignant; given the year we have just had, because even those who do accept   Jesus into their lives, when times are difficult, faith in God can waver.

 

 Perhaps this is why, John introduces us to Jesus in a world in darkness – darkness that can only be overcome by the all-pervasive light of God, and we are given the choice whether to accept or reject the light of his presence. The Christmas story is not always easy to believe but perhaps the hardest thing to remember about Christmas is this: We do not celebrate Christ’s ‘birthday’ remembering something that happened long ago. We celebrate the amazing fact that God entered our broken world and into our lives in Jesus, so that nothing has been the same since.   We may have to face problems and live through difficult times but we can do this with hope because through this child- Jesus Christ- God is now in our midst seeping into and through the   Imperfect, broken, cracked bits of our world and lives.  How things seem is not how things are, there is now hope in abundance, God is with us throughout   whether it feels that way or not. Even when we walk in darkness, light has a way of seeping in. Those cracks are where God’s forgiveness and healing gets in, and   is where the light of the Christ child shines out    into the world again through us.

On this Holy day, may the message of that first Christmas be yours and mine, may each one of you receive God’s word of love, let it be balm and healing and give you peace and joy. May we gain a deeper understanding of the presence of the God who came to us and who goes with us, not just for today, but always. On this Holy day, may we like Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and wise men, let ourselves be transported in sheer wonder and adoration at the incarnation- God in Christ made manifest.  Christ the Saviour is born.

Amen.

 


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