Summary: A sermon for our Carols by Candlelight service. Slightly evangelistic
When Heaven touches earth.
WBC 15.12.02pm Carols by Candlelight
I was reading the story of Jesus’ birth to my day-care children one
morning. As usual, I stopped to see if they understood.
"What do we call the three wise men?" I asked.
"The three maggots," replied a bright 5-year-old.
"What gift did the Magi bring baby Jesus?" I corrected.
"Gold, Frankensteins and smurfs!" the same 5-year-old replied.
A small boy was writing a letter to God about the Christmas presents he badly wanted. "I’ve been good for six months now," he wrote. But after a moment’s reflection he crossed out "six months" and wrote "three". After a pause that was crossed out and he put "two weeks". There was another pause and that was crossed out too. He got up from the table and went over to the little crib scene that had the figures of Mary and Joseph. He picked up the figure of Mary and went back to his writing and started again: "Dear God, if ever you want to see your mother again…!"
Heaven and Earth
To little children – the gap between heaven and earth is not a big one
- it’s close. All around them. God is.
- of course, they also see all kinds of things around them under the bed etc that we know are not there
But maybe… on some of this… they’re right, you know
- maybe when we grow up and chuck out the things that go bump in the night and under the bed
o we chuck out the ‘baby with the bathwater, too’
o (almost literally. Chick out Jesus with Santa?!)
The spiritual realm is NOT far away
= like a thin membrane between us and it.
- (but there is a divider/membrane, none the less)
o can be totally unaware of it (in West. ‘silent planet’)
Occasionally see a break-through
- here: the heavenly-hosts appear and scare the daylights out of the shepherds (breakthrough from the heavenly side)
- some Near Death Experiences? (glimpse through from here)
- cf parts of the world where they love with it as THE reality around them
o some= superstition
o some= eyes to see what we miss
o (because our vision is so dimmed with THINGS… ££
it thickens the membrane. Clutters the tunnel between us and it…. God)
But it’s very real
THIS… what was started ‘tonight’ is where the membrane is broken. Torn. Pierced
- when heaven touches earth. Invades earth. Heaven invades our space. God becomes a space-invader
o actually: the veil was torn at eater
The 4 questions:
because the veil is not of God’s making
- God has ALWAYS longed to walk with His beings. personally
o Adam. God walking in the garden
o Daniel- shadrach, meshach and abednigo… and a 4th person walking in the fire with them
o other occasions in OT, where God walks with someone – (and they don’t recognise it’s the real PERSONAL Him until later cf Emmaus)
- You see- He’s not a God far off. Immutable. Impassionate. Untouchable. Transcendent
Mankind has put up this veil/membrane
- “Genesis “Adam, where are you?”- “I hid from you….!”
- “you remind me of the things I don’t like… shouldn’t be doing.. my failings… my nakedness… things I WANT to do”
- > thickens the veil. Clutters the tunnel/channel, if you like
o then we blame God for the silence
We’re always running and hiding. Cluttering the tunnel with junk
But God has plans
- no father allows His child to not know - He’s there
- His love and care
…. no GOOD father, that is
- planned it at the start
o “before the foundation of the world”
He foreknew. Foreplanned
o before the spiritual realm had been riven/soiled….
o … and earth polluted with its venom/disobedience
o before Adam… you… I… had gone our own way
… for HEAVEN to come to EARTH.
- the paradise lost
- the relationship
To pierce the membrane…clear the tunnel… provide a way
You see these plans
- at the start of the Bible
o picture of God and man, together
- at the end of the Bible. Eden restored
Heaven touches earth
- to clear the way. Bridge the gap. Clear the tunnel. Rend the veil
o ie remove the problem (because there IS one)
- to show God’s love.
IllustrR: a mum goes to her son’s play
," I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment -- songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy
mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in