This sermon was given by the Rev. Joanie Delamater at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church on Christmas Day, 2016.
It was the thinnest moment of time, this magical mystical night and day we remember. The shepherds heard it and saw it, the sheep gathered and new this was special- watched the sky alit with angels. It must have been quite a sight! There must have been music!
I think the music was even more magical than Puccini!
Angels, music, light and stars guiding the way for anyone willing to be open to see them. Beings of comfort and attendance in the stable with Mary and Joseph and the Christ Child, the one who came into the world to bring us true life and show us the way of unconditional love.
This was a celestial happening that occurred over time, not just one night. The wise men traveled from far away places to discover its meaning. Were they just paying closer attention? Were their hearts open to the unexpected ways that God breaks into our world? What if we could be that open?
The Jewish people had been praying for a Messiah, a Savior to rescue them from the oppressive Roman rule. They expected a powerful king. And God sent them what they needed, but not in the way they expected. And we are still talking about it and celebrating the amazing magical mystical work of God that night so long ago. Has anyone else born into this world had such a lasting impact?
God keeps breaking into our world in unexpected ways, inviting us to hear the angelic message: “Do Not Be Afraid, for today is born to you a Savior - Christ the baby, bringing salvation- wholeness to all who are open to see and feel his presence. Can you hear the angels singing? Glory to God!
It is through God and with God and in God that all things are possible. What if we ask to see and hear the way the shepherds did that night? What if we were open to the mystical, magical, transforming ways of God in us and around us? Look for ways God is present in your life.
The mystical, sacred magical moments in your life- God is inviting you to be reborn, to become fully present in the moment- aware you are not alone. Think of the birth of a child - magical, really! The holy death of a loved one who passes over the threshold into the light who joins the choir of angels praising God: this is the thinnest of times, when heaven and earth are not separated (only by our limited thinking.)
Listen with your heart! Open your eyes to see as the Christ Child sees - all the possibilities are waiting for you!
The angels are here. Christ is here.
The light has come and is with us. Emmanuel - God with us
The Comforter, The Prince of Peace. Welcome Christ.
We, like him, are reborn into the light.
Welcome the light! Follow the light! Do not be afraid! Glory to God!
Peace on earth, with us and through us! Arise and shine, for your light has come!