Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas is A-Coming...

...and the goose is getting fat, or whatever. I'm busy working on the Christmas Eve sermon. Here is part of the draft, emphasizing how God broke into history in the birth of Jesus Christ in little Bethlehem, and God brings new life to birth in the most unexpected people and places. I got inspiration for this one from Herbert O'Driscoll's little book, A Certain Life.

"God’s work of salvation is surprising. The new life God brings is disturbing because it is unexpected. It refuses to conform. It upsets expectations about what is important, what is believable, what humans understand about power and justice. New birth never occurs in the predictable Jerusalems and Romes where we expect it; it sneaks into our world in the Bethlehems, in human situations where we presume nothing good and new can come. New life comes into everyday lives. God is hidden in the ordinary, God chooses to work powerfully through those who are powerless. And God shatters our confidence in human ways as the divine comes in a little baby who would grow up to die for love and rise again for love. God reverses human standards, and looks with favour on the humble, scatters the proud, pulls the mighty from their places of power, raises up the lowly, fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty.

"The message of Advent and Christmas is not dependent on whether or not a star appeared or a census was called in human history. The message is that God acts, and God’s salvation and liberation come, in wonderful, surprising, unexpected ways. And this is the message we called to believe, we are called to proclaim, and we are given gifts to proclaim."

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