Summary: a sermon I got off of sermon central and reworked
A fresh look at Christmas
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
I have one of those grandfathers who has a great sense of humor at least I think he has a great sense of humor. He has a habit of saying things that will most likely get him into trouble. I remember the whole family getting together a few years ago to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. It was a good time there was family and friends, everyone was enjoying themselves.
After the action died down and a few people left we all went in the living room and sat down. My grandfather sat down next to my grandmother and after it was quiet for a little while he said, “so do you feel any older” she said well not really. He said “well you look sure look a lot older”
A ninety year old couple sat on the front porch one night. The old man was overcome with the romance of the evening and he said to his hard of hearing wife, “I’m proud of you.” “Huh,” she said. “I’m proud of you.” “I’m tired of you too,” she said.
More often than not the case is that over time the more familiar we are with something the less fascination we have with it. We get tired of things very quickly. Things that once fascinated us, now bring little emotion. I get a new CD and listen to it over and over again but eventually the CD gets old and sits on a shelf un-listened to. We go out and get a new car but after six months the newness has worn off and we want a newer one.
We have a saying that “familiarity breeds contempt.” But more often than not, “familiarity just breeds indifference.” And the more we become familiar with something the less fascination we have. The newness fades, we lose the wonder. And that happens often with us at Christmastime too. We have heard the Christmas story over and over and slowly the wonder of what occurred some 2,000 years ago diminishes. It fails to do much for us spiritually. The old, old story, has become just that old, old story.
In Jesus Day there was a large crowd that was tired. They thought God didn’t really have anything left to show in fact he had been silent for 400 years. After a period of silence we start to wonder what happened. It happened before, It happened to the isrealites when Moses went onto the mountain for 40 days they thought that God was done talking and helping because it had been a little over a month since they noticed His work. There is quite a span from 40 days to 400 years.
The people thought he had used up his bag of tricks like Mark Hammel in star wars but what happened to his career after that? It’s easy to see the mistakes looking back. And we can easily get down on these people but they also new the fading glory of an old story.
One of the best known philosophers to date is a guy names Friedrich Nitche. He was the guy who said “God is dead”, That phrase can be found today in books, on t-shirts and in the hearts of many people. That was a controversial statement but the reason that Nietche thought that was because He has grown tired. And could no longer explain the injustices of the world.
He had bad things happen to him. He was shoved off to a boarding school by his parents and really bought into the pessimistic view of life. We are very much the same was as a society. We are bombarded by impulses to shop rather than share. We wonder where God is when tragedy happens. Sometimes we start to believe it, and we think he doesn’t have anything new to show us. All we have is an old book.
But the people who had been looking for a messiah new better. They new that there was an old story but God was writing a new chapter everyday and someday He would write an ending that promised and end to suffering. And end to war, that God would write an ending filled with peace on earth and goodwill to all people. Perhaps God wants to write a new chapter in your life today.
Believing requires effort. You know I have heard people ask why we take communion every week and when we tell them because we believe that is part of worship. They say to me “doesn’t it loose a special place if we do it every time we meet” The answer is, only if you let it. In Fact that’s one of the reasons we have a high divorce rate, because we get tired of each other and we don’t find ways to keep the things that should be special to us.