Welcome! I am so glad that you are able to join us today to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today is a double celebration. Sundays are mini-Easters when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but today is also Christmas when we celebrate the Incarnation, the embodiment of the Word in flesh when God came to live among us in His Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jesus was not the result of relations between a god and a human woman. Jesus is the Word through which God spoke all creation into being. Jesus was with God from before the beginning of time. Jesus is fully divine and yet fully human. How this can be is a mystery, but a mystery we can embrace. God is not some distant divine being in another dimension or a distant galaxy. God is not some ancient clockmaker who established the natural laws, set the pendulum to swinging and then moved on to His next project. God is alive and well living among us today, here and now.
The gift God gave us through His spoken word was life, and not just life, but life full of abundance. God gave us a home full of fresh, pure air to fill our lungs; a home of fresh, pure water and fertile soil to support an abundance of life, trout and whales, eagles and robins, mosquitoes and honey bees, snakes and crocodiles, mice and squirrels, chickens and goats, dogs and cats, oak trees and carrots, grass and water cress, and you and me. God gave us a home with more than enough water and food, shelter and clothing for all people and all of God’s creation. God gave us wisdom, knowledge and the skills to find and develop medicines to heal the sick and the deaf and the lame, to grow crops and develop delivery methods so that it is available to all people. God gave us intelligence and curiosity so that we could discover new things and travel to new destinations and take joy in God’s creation. God gave us so much love so that we would be able to love in return; love God, love all humanity, love ourselves and love all God’s creation. Are we our brother’s keeper? Yes, we are our brother and our sister’s keeper. God made us stewards over all of God’s creation to ensure the purity of the mountain streams, to protect the polar bear and the monarch butterfly, to safeguard the environment and our natural habitat.
This is a season of hope, peace, joy and love and yet we continue to see poverty, illness, pain and death. If God is so powerful and so loving, why does He allow this? I don’t know. Some would say that God gave us free will, the freedom to choose good and evil. Again, I do not know why bad things happen, why there is evil in the world, but I do know and truly believe that we live in a world of abundance where there is more than enough for everyone. That God gave us the freedom to make choices that benefit all humanity and all of God’s creation. That God gave us the courage and the wisdom to recognize when something is not right and to fight to make it right.
God knows that it can be hard to know what the best thing to do is. God knows that sometimes what is best for the majority is not what would benefit us personally the most. Life is full of tough decisions. And so God sent His Son Jesus Christ to show us how to live as the sons and daughters of God, to show us what it means to be good stewards of the abundance God has given us. God has sent the Holy Spirit to live within us to remind us of all that Jesus taught us and to teach us all that we need to know to live in peace and harmony, to live with hope and joy, to know how to love and to be loved, to know that we are the beloved children of God.
In our baptism we are washed clean of all impurities of hate, greed, lust and self-centeredness, of all that separates us from God and our neighbor, and when we fail, we know that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we can repent and be forgiven and be reconciled with God and those we have wronged. In the gift of the Holy Spirit we are purified as with the refiner’s fire from the inside out and so are born again through water and the Spirit to new life in God.
And so this Christmas morning we give praise to our God who loves us, we give thanks for His Son Jesus Christ who revealed to us what it means to be the beloved children of God and glory in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit who reminds us that God is with us yesterday, today and tomorrow, for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Merry Christmas!
Mother Darlene Kuhn
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