Sermon – December 24, 2015 – Christmas Eve

So are going to do something a little different tonight.  And I don’t mean it to be gimmicky.  I really want us to read this story together. Better yet, I want you to tell this story the way that you heard it. Feel free to look down at the text as we go along, but try to tell us much of it that you can from memory and if the words that are used aren’t quite the way you heard it go ahead and say the words that you learned. For example I learned that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and Artest says bands of cloth if you learned in the King James version or something else, tell the story that the way the way that you heard it.

Is that clear? Okay here we go together…

I have the privilege of being able to watch you as you do that and I can see that you know this story. We know how it begins, we know the main characters, we know that there was no room in the, and we know how it ends.

So if we know this story so well that we can almost repeated verbatim or we can tell the story and keep the pieces together so another would understand, then why are we here?

Why are we here tonight? We know this story this is my 20th Christmas as a pastor. I know the story, but each time of its telling the only maybe, one must keep ourselves in the possibility.

Some of us and come to hear again that God reveals God’s self not just of the high and mighty, the privileged, the powerful, but to God that we worship, the God that we have come to say is with us – Emmanuelle – is a God who comes in the simple and the common. Comes unexpectedly. Is born of a peasant family and a young mother who is faithful betrothed reveals his integrity.

Maybe this is our night to cut loose a bit in a socially acceptable way if you are one of those people for whom praising God and glorifying God doesn’t come easy.

Or maybe we’ve come to be reminded that we, like a Shepherd’s on that starry night, had been given the story of the agents to share what God has made known to us.

We know this story, yet we keep coming back, and I think I know a little bit of why. Because as this world changes, as it is wrenched and shaken by mindless heat and cruel requirements and the disregard for human life and hope his essay… Where people are left by the side of the road as so much cast off garbage as though they did not reflect the very image of God… As leaders pray on fear and hatred and willful ignorance… Is that which we depended upon Oracle for shifts and changes, you service and fails us, we come to hear a story that we know does not change.

We come to hear again a story that is not buffeted by uncertainty or infidelity, where the ugliness of the world is met by the beauty and the constancy of the Nativity. We, as the calf in the, the shouting the explosive wounding dialogue in the literal ordinance, become for the silence in the quiet in the comfort of the promise of God’s coming among us.

I don’t know what may have happened in your life to share, whom you more, that which was celebrated, or Julie Shores or fear or does. I don’t know what changes you have gone through what awaits you, but I believe that you have come as I have come because we know the story.

The story says receive this gift wrapped in swaddling clothes

The story that says you need do nothing right now, set aside the busyness and your anxiety and receive the gift, be embraced by it, be renewed by  it and fed and loved.

Is yours without asking and comes with no price the life of the child gives himself for us so that we might know peace.

There is nothing demanded of you to open your hands and receive it.

We know this story. It is the story of God’s gift of love and hope and possibility, a gift beyond time yet truly present among us tonight.

And insurers to hold and to share and to tend.

It is the Christ born of Mary come to bring this life. It is the good news that again tonight in this place, in your heart, in your family, in this broken world tonight is born Savior who is Christ the Lord.
But then, you know that, don’t you?

So Merry Christmas!

Thanks be to God! Amen

(Nothing broken that cannot be healed,  . . .