Christmas Eve message

  • I have to admit, friends, that I’ve started this message about 15 times in the last few weeks.
    • Tried to write some of the image-conjuring poetry that I’ve written in the past à But I just couldn’t get the words to come this year.
    • Tried a couple of different illustrations that I thought I could carry throughout the sermon à Only to find out that they’re illustrations I’ve used in the past. (Hey … at least I’m consistent, right?)
    • Tried a lot of different things
    • But I seemed to keep ending up staring at a dauntingly blank page and a maddeningly blinking cursor. This year was just a struggle. This year … was just … a struggle. In all the ways. Right?
  • But tonight, we’re still here. Here in person or here virtually in our hearts. And the angels’ ancient good news is still our good news: “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”[1] And on hearing that joyful declaration, friends, the shepherds dropped everything and made their way to the side of the manger. They went immediately. They went eagerly. They went with haste, as Scripture tells us. And they went as they were.
    • Didn’t pause to consider the implications of their impromptu journey
      • Political implications
      • Career implications
      • Social media implications
      • Expectations (their own or anyone else’s)
    • Didn’t stop to pack anything – not the things they would definitely need … or the things they’d probably need … or the things they might need … or the things they probably wouldn’t need (but decided to pack anyway … just in case)
    • Didn’t stop to freshen up or change their clothes or make themselves “presentable” (whatever that means) → They arrived in the presence of the Savior dirty, road-worn, tired, and unsure of what exactly they were encounter. But still, they came. And tonight, friends, still … we come. We come seeking the Wonderful Counselor the guide us through the immense and overwhelming complexities of this world that we live in. We come seeking the Mighty God to bear our burdens when our strength fails us and we can no longer lift our foot … or our head … or our heart. We come seeking the Prince of Peace to wash our worries and anxieties and looming fears with peace everlasting.
      • Don’t come because we’ve done enough
      • Don’t come because we have enough
      • Don’t come because we’re prepared enough
      • With the shepherds, we come to the manger because God is our enough. When we’re out of words … when we’re out of trust … when we’re out of prayers … when we’re out of ideas … God is our enough. Tomorrow. Two weeks from Thursday. Six months from yestertime. Everyday. Always. God is our enough. Alleluia. Amen.

[1] Lk 2:10-11 (NRSV).

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