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Summary: Christmas is the living promise that we are never alone. No matter where we are in life, No matter how far we might stray, or how unfaithful we are, God in all his love, will continue to pursue, a love that will never stop shining.

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scriptures readings proceeding the Message. Today's assigned readings are: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14 and Luke 2:1-20.

A little boy wanted a watch so very badly ....for Christmas.

Each day,...... he would ask about his watch...."Dad can I please have a watch?

Mom I really need a watch", .....Every time he opened his mouth .....he was asking again .....or talking about ....a watch ...for Christmas.

Finally the father told the boy ..... if he mentioned ...."Watch" ....one more time, ....he wouldn't get one.

Now....Every night before supper,..... one member of the family ....repeated a Bible verse ....before asking the blessing.

The boy was eager to share the verse he had memorized that day,.... so just before they prayed, .....he recited Mark 13:37...."And what I say unto you,.... I say unto all....Watch." (REPEAT - Mark 13:37)

Advent is a time .....of watching .... A time ....of preparation.... a time ....of anticipation ...leading to this night...to the coming .....of our Lord.

And tonight there is a buzz in the air....... Can you hear it? ..........Maybe..... you can feel it.

As the song states, ......." In the air ....there's a feeling ....of Christmas."

It permeates... everything tonight...... Everything.

This is the time of year .....when nostalgia runs deep, .....and nobody dares act the Scrooge.

Christmas Eve ... is indeed .... a very special time.

Beloved..... Christmas Eve .... is the time ......"When the membrane between heaven and earth is so thin ..... you can almost .....see through it.

Tonight is the night .... we measure all time.... against." (Pause)

The Sanctuary,.... so beautifully decorated for the season, ....has become..... a waiting room.

We find ourselves ....pacing the floor in anticipation....until we receive the news .... The Christ has come.

That is where we are .... this night.

And that waiting, .....in itself, .....comes in many ....different forms.

Truth be told,.... There has not been a Christmas..... not even the first one.... that went off exactly... as everyone .... had planned.

But that does not .... that cannot ..... deny the heart of the story; .....namely, ... that on this one night, ....God chose to come .... in human flesh.

Heaven came down .... and glory.... filled the air. (Pause)

The renowned theologian,..... Karl Barth, .....was asked to be a guest lecturer .....at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

At the end of a captivating closing lecture, ...... .....the president of the seminary .....announced that Dr. Barth .... was not well ....and was quite tired.

Although.... he was sure that Dr. Barth would like to be open ......for questions, .....he shouldn't be expected .....to handle the strain.

He went on to say,.... "Therefore, .....I will ask just one question .....on behalf of..... all of us."

He turned to the renowned theologian .... and asked:

"Of all the theological insights you have ever had, ..... which do you consider ....to be the greatest..... of them all?

It was the perfect question .... for a man who had written literally..... tens of thousands of pages .....of some of the most sophisticated theology .....ever put into print.

The students held their pencils and pens tightly against their writing pads, ....ready to take down verbatim .... the premier insight .... of this great ....theologian.

Karl Barth ....closed his tired eyes, ....and he thought for a moment, ....and then he half smiled, ..... opened his eyes,...... and said to those young Seminarians:

"The greatest theological insight..... that I have ever had is this: ............ "Jesus loves me, ....this I know, ....for the Bible.... tells me so."

Beloved, ....I submit to you ....that the Gospel of Jesus Christ ..... is the greatest love story .... ever written!

I wish with all my heart .... that all.....would read the Gospel ....in that light.

I wish with all my heart ... that everyone would know ....and experience the unending love .....of our Lord and Savior.

"Jesus loves me, ....this I know,.... for the Bible.... tells me so."

The Birth of Christ .... Christmas ..... is the classic love story.

And .....As in all relationships of love, .....there must be that first meeting.... There must be.... that first encounter.

When I was a child, ....I remember asking.... "What if I ...had been born ....to another set of parents?

What would my life ....have been like?

Well ....if I had....I would never have known the love of the parents ....that God gave me.

I would never have known the joys .....and the frustrations ......of being ....the older brother.

Occasionally.... I find myself ....asking those curious ..."What if ".....questions.

"What if ......I had gone to another college? ......What if .....I had moved out of state?

If I had...Lee and I .... Our lives .... might have never crossed paths... never to have had ....that first meeting.

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