Summary: Can you hear it? There is a buzz in the air. Maybe you can feel it. As the song states, In the air there is a feeling of Christmas.It permeates everything tonight. Everything.
For those not familiar with an Anglican Service; there are four Scripture Readings before the Sermon. The Scripture Readings for this day were: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2: 11-14 and Luke 2: 1-20.
Can you hear it?
There is a buzz in the air.
Maybe you can feel it.
As the song states, " In the air there is a feeling of Christmas."
It permeates everything tonight...... Everything.
This is the time of year when nostalgia runs deep, and nobody dares act like Scrooge .... and complain about it.
Christmas Eve ... is indeed .... a very special time.
Barbara Brown Taylor puts it this way... she says 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."
The church’s sanctuary, so beautifully decorated for the season, has become a waiting room.
We find ourselves pacing the floor nervously until we get news the baby is born.
That is where we are this night.
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 like 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 our souls. (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,
And though he thought that Dr. Barth would like to be open for questions, he should not be expected to handle the strain.
Then he said, "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
The students held pencils right up 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 everyone would read the Gospel in that light.
I wish with all my heart ... that everyone would know and experience the love of our Lord and Savior.
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
Beloved ...... The Birth of Christ .... Christmas is a classic love story.
And in all relationships of love, there must be that first meeting.... 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 had 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 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 the state?
If I had...Lee and I .... Our lives .... might have never crossed paths... never had that first meeting...
And if not we might never have known this wonderful love we share together."
Beloved...., I submit to you, that Christmas is a crossing of paths...
Christmas is where we find the Christ of God .... intersecting with humanity!
Christmas is our first best meeting with the God who has desired us from the very beginning.
I submit to you ..... If not for Christmas we might never have known the intensity of the love .... that God has for each of us. (Pause)
Mary and Joseph, far from home, a peasant mother giving birth...
They laid him in the manger and they watched his little face, .... and they listened for his breathing, ..... just as every new parent does.
Christ was born into our world .... One who embodied this love that God has for us...