Sermons 2008
Light and Love, Christmas 1B , 28 December 2008, John 1:1-18

Home | Light and Love, Christmas 1B , 28 December 2008, John 1:1-18 | The light and the darkness, Christmas Day, 25 December 2008, John 1:1-14 | What would you see? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2008, Luke 2:1-20 | What did you say? Advent 3B, 14 December 2008, John 1:6-8. 19-28 | A refining fire, Advent 2B, 7 Dec 2008, Mark 1:1-8 | Alert, alert! Advent 1B, 30 November 2008, Mark 13:24-37 | Where will we stand: sheep or goats? Proper 29A 2008, 23 November 2008, Matthew 25: 31-46 | The talents to...? Proper 28A, 16 November 2008, Matthew 25:14-30 | Choose this day, Proper 27A, 9 November 2008, Joshua 24:14-25; Matthew 25:1-13 | All Saints A, 2 November 2008, Matthew 5:1-12; 23:1-12 | Holy or not? Proper 25A, 26 October 2008, Matthew 22:34-46 | Things: God's or Caesar's? Proper 24A, 19 October 2008, Matthew 22:15-22 | The wedding and the allegory, Proper 23A, 12 October 2008, Matthew 22:1-14 | The vineyard and the rock, Proper 22A. 5 October 2008, Matthew 21:33-46 | Deference and disobedience, Proper 21A, 28 September 2008, Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32 | Be content, Proper 20A , 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Only one true church? Proper 18A, 7 September 1008, Matthew 18:15-20 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 22:1-16 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Holy Name and Holy Ground, Proper 17A, Exodus 3:1-15; Matthew 16:21-28 | What's in a name? Proper 16A, 24 August 2008, Matthew 16:13-20 | Dogs? Proper 15A, 17 August 2008, Matthew 15:10-28 | Time to get out of the boat, Proper 14A, 10 August 2008, Matthew 14:22-33 | Who, me? Proper 13A, 3 August 2008, Matthew 14:13-21 | LIKE what? Proper 12A, 27 July 2008, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 | Good seed, bad seed, Proper 11A , 20 July 2008, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 | Watch the Farmer, Proper 10A, 13 July 2009, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 | Easy Yoke? Proper 9A 2008, 6 July 2008, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 | Baptism of David William and Anne Tyler, Proper 8A, 29 June 2008 | The Twelve or the Dirty Dozen? Proper 6A, 15 June 2008, Matthew 9:35-10:15 | Jesus likes sinners?, Proper 5A, 8 June 2008, Matthew 9:9-13 | Lawlessness or not? Pentecost 3A, Proper 4A, 1 June 2008, Matthew 7:21-29 | What do you mean, if? Easter 6A, 27 April 2008, John 14:15-21 | Comforting words and St Thomas, Easter 5A, 20 April 2008, John 14:1-14 | Ordinary good shepherds, Easter 4A 2008, 13 April 2008, John 10:1-10 | Light for clarity, Easter 3A, 6 April 2008, Luke 24:13-35 | "Blessed are those who....", Easter 2A, 30 March 2008, John 20:19-31 | Hallelujah! He's alive! Easter Sunday A, 23 March 2008, John 20:1-18 | He had it all, Palm Sunday A, 16 March 2008, Matthew 26:14-27:54 | Lazarus: Waiting for Jesus, Lent 5A, 9 March 2008, John 11:1-45 | Miracles Physical and Spiritual, Lent 4A, 2 March 2008, John 9:1-41 | Living Water, Lent 3A, 24 February 2008, John 4:5-42 | God's unselfish love, Lent 2A, 17 February 2008, John 3:1-17 | Temptation, Lent 1A, 10 February 2008 | Ash Wednesday, 6 February 2008, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | They heard the Lord call, Epiphany 3A, 20 Jan 2008, Matthew 4:12-23 | Come and See! Epiphany 2A, 20 January 2008, John 1: 29-42 | Remember Your Baptism? Epiphany 1A, 13 January 2008, Matthew 3:13-17 | We Three Kings, The Epiphany, 6 January 2008, Matthew 2:1-12

Christmas  1B 2008                                                 John 1:1-18

Way back in Eighteen-Twenty-Seven, an American Bishop made the following complaint:  "The devil has stolen Christmas from us.  The devil has stolen the day of our spiritual redemption, and converted it into a day of worldly festivities."  If he thought that was the case in Eighteen-Twenty-Seven, he should see us now.

            December becomes a chaotic month for many of us.  Despite the current economic downturn, the parking lot at WalMart was full this week.  With the frenzied shopping and over-indulging, some of us are exhausted, physically and emotionally.  Now the bills roll in, and many cannot be paid

            Saint John speaks not of angels, shepherds, and wise men with gifts but of the essence of the Nativity:  "In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.  The Word was made flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His Glory, the Glory that is His as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth."   The Fourth Evangelist reminds us that for centuries God prepared the world for the coming of Christ and, with the coming of Jesus there came a new understanding and a new experience of how much God loves us.

            After John had written his Gospel in this way he went on to write a letter -- the First Epistle of John -- we know that Jesus has given us a new understanding of God's Love for us, that we can now love one another in a radical new way. 
The radical new love is a love that is for the other person, that says to your husband or wife or parent or child or friend or enemy, "How can I give life to you?  How can I encourage you?  How can I call forth the life in you?  In Jesus Christ, God became one of us to tell us that He loves us.  And, in our love for one another, in union with Jesus Christ, we give our love to God.

            In an ancient legend four angels watch as in the beginning God goes about creating the Universe:
            "How are You doing this?" the first angel asks.
            "Why are You doing this?" the second asks.
            "When will You finish the job?" asks the third angel.
            "What is it all worth?" asks the fourth.
            A fifth angel who is hovering over the scene simply gazes in wonder at what God is doing, and then applauds in sheer delight.

The first angel, who asked "How?" was a scientist.
The second, who asked "Why?" was a philosopher.
The third angel, who asked "When?" was a general.          The fourth angel, who asked about "Worth" was a banker.
The fifth angel, simply delighted by God's creativity, was a mystic.

            On this Day of all Days simply want to be like the fifth angel.  We simply gaze in wonder at the Christmas events and we take sheer delight in  the divine creativity in which God became one of us to tell us that He loves us.

            A recently married man received a letter and some photographs from an old friend.  Among the photographs was a picture of a beautiful patio deck the friend had made with his own hands.  Impressed with his friend's skill, the man began to feel inadequate, since he knew he was "all thumbs" when it came to working with tools.  Consequently, when he showed the photo to his wife he asked rather sadly, "But what do I make?"  Without missing a beat his wife answered, "You make me happy."

            Without missing a beat this Christmas season and in the days to come, in the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, make someone happy.

    We gaze in wonder and delight at the Nativity Scene.
            We gaze in wonder and delight at the Nativity Scene and we know what abiding faith is.
            We gaze in wonder and delight at the Nativity Scene and we know what true love is.
            The Word became flesh to show us in a once-and-for-all way, what life is all about.
            The Word became flesh to show us what it means to be fully human.
            The Word became flesh to show us the love of a Gracious God, and how to share it.


(Adapted from the Sunday Sermon for Christmas 1B 2008,