Sermon – December 24th 2014
Christmas Eve 2014
By Roland Legge
Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7
Epistle: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel: Luke 2:1-20
For most of us Christmas is a very special time of year. It seems to bring out the best in us.
We love to get together with family and friends. We think of our elderly and disabled who are not able to get easily out of their homes. We think of the many individuals and families who do not have enough to eat and so donate to food banks. We seem more generous at this time of year as many non-profit organizations get more donations. We seem to make a bigger effort to get along with each other. It is said that one night during the 1st World War the soldiers stopped fighting on Christmas Eve and came together for a party playing soccer, sharing some of their rations and showing each other photos of their families back at home. These are all little miracles.
Now imagine if we lived each day as though it was Christmas. I think the world would be a lot better place. As Christians, followers of Jesus, we indeed are called to live this out each and every day. How do you live this out each day?
As I get older the giving and receiving of material gifts seem to be getting less and less important. What I do value is having time to be with friends and family. I value taking some time to reflect on how I am living out my call from God. What do I need to keep doing? What do I need to let go of? What new thing might the Spirit be calling me to do. I value doing my best along with others to continue to make the amazing planet earth we have been gifted by God a better place where all can enjoy.
There is much I want for Christmas! But not just Christmas but every day. I want human kind to learn how to live more in harmony with Mother Earth. One thing I would like to see are our governments and mining companies take greater responsibility in how they mine the resources and how they treat the local people; many who are being displaced around the world. I would like us to value all of Creation simply because God created it. It doesn’t have to have a financial value to be of worth.
I want to see the end of wars around our world. Violence is such an outdated way of solving disputes. Too many people make huge amounts of money making all the equipment and computer programs to fight these terrible wars. We must not let greed rule our ways. If soldiers can stop fighting for a night we can stop fighting any time we choose too. Jesus did really show us the way to resolve disputes non-violently. Let’s take Jesus seriously and really follow in his ways.
I want to see the great religions of the world to get along with each other. I believe there are many paths to the Divine. Instead of fearing each other let us be open to learning from each other. Let us find ways to work together on issues of importance that we can all agree on such as peace, the environment, healthy people, the economy and much more. Let us enjoy the diversity of people that God created us to be.
I want to see the end of all forms of prejudice whether that be ageism, homophobia, racism and/or gender. We need to keep asking God to help us see that we are all created in the image of God. To be reminded that God is not concerned with all these prejudices but more with how we treat each other and Mother Earth and all that makes it up.
Yes there is much I want for Christmas and for everyday of the year. The Good News is that many acts of love, compassion, reconciliation and justice happen every day. Sadly the media seems to ignore much of this. So remember this when you watch the news. This doesn’t mean we should ignore all the bad things happening around the world.
There are so many challenges our world faces. Yet, if each of us live our lives with the help of our inner and community guidance of the Spirit the world will continue to be transformed. The greatest gift you can give the world is your time and talents in living out the great Commandments to love God, self and neighbour. With each of us doing our part in our personal and corporate lives the world will become more and more healthy. God knows you make a difference! Do you know that?
One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is the relationship I have with my wife Jen. Through her love for me I am learning to be more attentive to the Spirit. She helps me to be my God given self. To be my true self. I am also thankful for my extended family and friends who make it awesome to be me. I treasure each and every one of them. So when I am around Jen, family and friends I feel valued and so feel compelled to make a difference in the world. I want others to feel that same kind of love that melts away fear and hatred.
I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope it will be a time to enjoy yourself, your family and friends. I hope it will be a time to reflect on your life and listen to the inner voice of the Spirit that will continue to show you the way. Most importantly I hope we will reflect on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. To ask how is Jesus asking you to live in his way?
May God continue to bless you on this journey.