Christmas Eve – 2012

For weeks now we have been preparing – our baking and buying, our listening and learning,

all our energy, it seems, has been bent towards this very moment.

And now, we stand on the edge of the scene we have been striving towards.

 

A manger – idyllic and pastoral.

Strangers and visitors packed together in a place suddenly made holy

by a wondrous act of God’s creative genius.

Heavenly glory has overwhelmed the ordinary business that everyone was busy with;

– a young woman has conceived and bore a son.

He has been named according to the script;

there are grazing animals and a shining star – all is as it should be.

We have arrived at our moment of Christmas perfection…

 

If only that were so.

 

Our pursuit of this glorious scene has cost us dearly

– we are socially exhausted and financially drained –

Spiritually, we often find ourselves overfed, yet under nourished;

we have taken in all the churchy “extras”

without finding any benefit to our tired souls.

We sing about Heavenly peace – the prince of Peace –

we long for the peace which passes understanding

and yet we wonder – where is our peace?

 

Our peace, friends, is found at the heart of the story we have been telling one another

over these many weeks – indeed for years and years.

For in this story of personal peace upset – of surprising news and heavenly visitors –

We learn of the strength of obedience

and of the value of faith in the face of uncertain news.

 

This story is one of promises made and kept;

the promises of men and women – to God and to one another

-and the promises of God to women and men.

This is a story where nothing is cut and dried – the natural order of things is upset –

for those who should believe are ignorant,

and the ignorant run through the streets singing God’s praises.

And it is in this upsetting of things that we can find our peace.

 

The thought of God working once again taking chaos and making something wonderful

quite frankly, gives me peace – hope – and considerable joy.

God is still at work among us, friends. The Son is born – a child is given –

in the most improbable way, God has joined the party,

and we cannot behave as if nothing has changed, because everything is changed.

Not in any orderly, regimented, strictly-by-the-calendar fashion;

that would be our preference, but God chooses another way.

 

To come as a child – to work from the bottom – to work God’s order out of our chaos –

offering peace, not for a day, or a season, but for ever and all.

 

Let us accept the peace God offers us in Jesus Christ.

The peace of a sleeping child – the peace of a night full of starry wonder –

the peace long promised has come to us this day – Alleluia – amen

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