Summary: A sermon for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve Mediation
by: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
Following a Christmas Eve Service at the last church I pastored, Parkview United Methodist Church in Newport News, VA., I was shaking hands with those who were leaving.
One gentleman with his family, I only saw him every once in a while.
His kids came to Youth Group, but the parents didn’t attend regularly.
So, I said, “It was great having you here! I hope to see you next Sunday!!!”
To that, he got a little sarcastic and replied, “I’ll see you next Easter!” as he smirked on his way out the door.
He was good to his word.
But, from his tone of voice that evening, and from the expression on his face, it seemed that he was trying to upset me…or trying to get under my skin…payback to all the preachers in the world or something.
He didn’t hurt me.
Not one bit.
I remember this episode precisely because I thought to myself, “You’re only hurting yourself and your family. You have two wonderful young girls who are involved in Youth Group.
They come every Sunday evening.
They don’t make it to worship Sunday morning much, though…but I bet they would if you came.
And I bet it would make a huge difference, not only in their lives—but in your life as well!”
Because coming to worship, Sunday school on a regular basis…
…being a part of a community of faith which loves one another--is there for one another during the good times and the bad--makes all the difference in the lives of those who take the risk and give it a shot!!!”
Church is not about the preacher; it’s about YOU! It’s about God!!!
It’s about life and having it abundantly!
Jesus sure took a chance and gave it a shot on US!!!
God, in Jesus Christ, left the highest realm of heaven and became one of us!
He demanded nothing, but gave everything, even His own life!
That is love—that is GOD!!!
Jesus’ birth announcement was proclaimed to humble shepherds whose status was only slightly higher than that of prostitutes and tax collectors!
Who would the angel’s appear to if Christ were to come for the first time today?
God’s compassion for the down-and-outers, the outcastes, the aliens is mind boggling!!!
He enters the world as one of US!!!
Jesus was not born into power, privilege, or pleasure.
God did not send His Son to be raised by kings, queens, and the rulers of this earth; instead He was born in a stable, and the good news was first proclaimed to common shepherds on the nightshift!
What are we to make of this?
God entered this world as a poor, naked, outcast, alien.
How awesome is that?
If any of you think you are not good enough for Jesus’ love and forgiveness—think about this!!!
Jesus is in solidarity with YOU!!!
Jesus can relate to your life.
Jesus loves you just the way you are—no matter what you’ve done or where you come from!
Jesus came to save you!
Jesus came to show you what God is like.
God is not some angry God.
Our lives are not a cruel joke.
Instead, we are on the most exciting journey imaginable!!!
Whether we are rich or poor.
Whether we are black or white, straight or gay, male or female…
Whether we were born in the White House or the Waffle House—we all have something to be thankful for this Christmas and every day of the year!!!
God LOVES EVERY ONE OF US with NO STRINGS ATTACHED!!!
What better reason is there to come to church to worship, not only on Christmas and Easter—but every Sunday of the year!!!
This is why we worship God!
We worship God, not out of fear—but out of love and thankfulness!!!
Our Gospel Lesson from Luke tells us that 2,000 or so years ago “there were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Do not be afraid!!!
Oh, what fearful creatures we are.
We fear economic recession.
We fear the loss of our jobs.
We fear our neighbors.
We fear those who don’t look or act like we do.
Many of us fear God!!!
The angel of the Lord tells YOU tonight and for the rest of your lives and into eternity—“Do not be afraid! God has come to us.