Summary: A Christmas Eve sermon, written in poetry
Christmas Eve December 24, 2006 Luke 2: 1-20
Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Creator of the universe and author of life on this planet we call earth, we gather in your presence this holy night to lift our hearts in praise and devotion to you for the birth of your Son, Jesus the Christ. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, grant us humble hearts, that we might come to see, cradled in this familiar story of Jesus’ birth, your gift of redeeming grace. Enable us to grow in faith, and to embrace others with the love you have shown us. This we ask, in Jesus name. Amen.
Tonight we have gathered, amid dim candlelight,
To sing our beloved carols, to our hearts delight,
Which proclaim the message, of God’s advent to earth,
In the child, to which Mary, long ago gave birth.
Adding to the beauty of our celebration,
Christ’s birth is portrayed, in artistic creation,
‘Midst many poinsettias, which beautifully enfold,
This picture of God’s Word, for our eyes to behold.
Special music honors, this child born to Mary,
Enhancing the worship, in our sanctuary,
For all who have gathered, on this cold winter night,
To be warmed by the hope, that Christ’s birth brings to light.
Even my sermon, is written in words that rhyme,
That our worship might be, uplifting and sublime,
For ‘tis fitting that we celebrate, with great joy,
God’s gift of himself, in this tiny, infant boy.
But midst our celebration, there is the danger,
Of not grasping the truth, that led to the manger,
Being the cradle, in which the Christ child was laid,
And the selfless grace of God, that was there displayed.
For though we envision, the nativity scene,
With Mary and Joseph, looking calm and serene,
Let’s not forget the stress, this couple overcame,
As God’s grace enabled them, to avoid great shame.
God’s action began, with the annunciation,
When Mary received Gabriel’s proclamation,
That she had been chosen, as the one to give birth,
To God’s only Son, who’d make his advent to earth.
In startled reaction, to this vision she saw,
Mary exclaimed, that she, was obeying God’s law,
‘Though engaged to Joseph, she had not yet been led,
To lose her virginity, or sleep in his bed.
And so, this young virgin, who was still in her teens,
Questioned Gabriel’s message, to know by what means,
God hoped to accomplish, his Son’s incarnation,
Recognizing the truth, of her situation.
In answer to her question, Mary was then told,
Not to worry ‘bout how, this event would unfold,
But simply trust in God’s Spirit, and take delight,
In knowing that she, had found favor in God’s sight.
But although Gabriel told her, she shouldn’t fear,
Mary knew that God’s law, was specifically clear,
For to become pregnant, before her marriage feast,
Would bring great shame upon her, at the very least.
For in those days, there was, a sense of piety,
Embraced by near all, who, lived in society,
Upholding marriage, to be God’s sacred estate,
For the begetting of children, to one’s own mate.
Thus, when Mary discovered that she was with child,
We can assume that Joseph, became slightly riled,
When she came to him, with the humble admission,
That his betrothed was in, a pregnant condition.
For what was he to think, of Mary’s strange story,
That she had been chosen, to receive God’s glory,
By conceiving a child, though no man she had known -
‘Twas God’s will for her life, through no fault of her own.
Thus Joseph assumed, Mary chose to denigrate,
The fidelity he placed, in his future mate,
So in order to save, the honor of his name,
Planned a quiet divorce, to spare them both, from shame.
But again God acted, through a cognitive dream,
Telling Joseph that he, should honor and esteem,
His love for his betrothed, to take her as his wife,
To cherish and respect her, the rest of his life.
Again, as a result, of God’s intervention,
Joseph set aside, society’s convention,
And following the direction, God did provide,
He quickly took Mary, to be his cherished bride.
Thus, each of this young couple, was led to embrace,
Beginning their marriage, by trusting in God’s grace,
To lead them through, the many turmoil’s of life -
To calm their anxieties, and to soothe their strife.
Thus Joseph, a carpenter, worked hard to provide,
A basic home, in which, this couple might reside,
In the small town of Nazareth, in Galilee,
While planning for fatherhood, with expectant glee.
But when the birth of Mary’s child, seemed close at hand,
Joseph received word, of the Emperor’s demand,
That all who lived, under Roman occupation,