Merry Christmas Everyone! Don’t we just love Christmas Eve. The Stories, the Carols, decorations, time to celebrate family and friends. Christmas is all about love, as a pastor on Christmas eve in my parish, we usually celebrated at least 3 to 6 wedding engagements. That special event that changes people and gives hope and new life to them.
But the best thing of all on Christmas is that we all get gifts. How great when you can give the perfect gift to someone. Just what touches their heart, lights up their eyes and puts a smile on their face. Then the gift you open, just what you wanted or asked for. How nice is that! You even like the gift you’re not sure what to do with but as we say, it’s the thought that counts. So, everybody is happy.
But tonight, we all receive that perfect gift. The greatest gift of all time, God born into our lives in the Christ Child. And this event that changed the world invites us to participate in the mystery of God’s plan for all of humanity, indeed, all of creation. We are shares in the mystery. God giving us eternal life and love now.
We live in this mystery, that’s why our life in God is so boundless, always open to more, always open to deeper and deeper understanding. Always open to God’s love, God’s fidelity, God’s desire for each of us to be God’s love in the world, to love others as God loves us.
This mystery is the truth of God sharing the human experience and transforming it. WOW! Making the opening for us to share in God’s very divine life by following Christ in doing God’s will, learning the way of real love, selfless love.
Selfless love opens up all the possibilities of transformation, of redemption, of Godliness in our frail experience and gives us hope. And we surely need hope today.
Christ’s selfless love offers us healing, offers us community and belonging. As we reach out to all those who are looking for ways to be whole, belong somewhere, have a life.
How many folks are like the Holy Family, taking a very awkward journey to find freedom and safety, those seeking freedom from the tyranny of dictators, or from the heartless leaders who do not understand the human dilemmas caused by their proclamations and laws often from greed.
We need Christmas. We need to celebrate Christ in our midst. He gives us a way forward. If only we can change our hearts and then the hearts of others by our selfless love. That’s the gift we give and the gift we receive. But we have to live it, share it with all, this selfless love, that is: be for others first. We as a people can do that, we are a society that welcomes others as it has welcomed our families generations ago, we can surely be for others in many ways now.
We already know that all the challenges of life can be remedied by love, Christ’s love in us. It’s the way forward, really the foundation of everything we do: seeking to be Christ in the world.
And we are all called to this vocation, this way of life. Tonight, Christmas Eve, tells us this truth – Angels passed on the word to the Shepherds and to us- Do Not Be Afraid – God is now with you, born into your life. Part of you.
A light has come into the world – we do have the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is the light Isaiah prophesied. And he brings joy and peace and hope to a waiting world. Nothing has changed has it – the world still needs this hope, this good news. God with us. God, one like us.
The wonder of tonight is – we celebrate ourselves – the people of Jesus. We are so blessed, we are Church, we are the Body of Christ on earth. Our lives are holy, sacred to the Lord. God himself has called us and appointed us disciples of Christ to share this Good News. That all people are one in God.
Christmas brings us to this moment of recognition of who we really are and all that is part of our life, our faith and our future. And when we look at our life, we give thanks for all those who are special to us. We think of all those we love and how blessed we are to belong to them. We thank God for all that we have , and we touch again the gift of God’s faithfulness and love to each of us in giving us Jesus.
So, as we receive this great gift from God wrapped in the image of the new born Babe, we are touched so deeply because God is with us and loves us. And Christmas invites us again to share God’s love with all the world.
Merry Christmas everyone.