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I always wanted my family to hear from Ed McMahon when I was growing up. You know, the annual Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes? Ed and his crew would show up at your front door with a giant, over-sized check made out to “The Fairless Family” for One Million and no/100Dollars!
That’s what I imagine when I read the line in Isaiah day about “as people exult when dividing plunder.” How thrilled would I have been to divide the “plunder” of an unexpected bonus with my family members? Is that how I feel about the coming of the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace?
I’m interested in the repeated admonition to “ascribe to the Lord” the glory due God’s name. Ascribing something generally means to give credit where credit is due. I like that.
But, of course the original meaning goes even deeper; scribere is “to write,” or even more literally, “to make a mark.” When it comes to praising God for the wonder of creation, of Christ — we need to write it down — “book it,” if you will. Mark this day — this holy day — as the day we give God all the glory for Christmas!
Paul reminds us, in his words to Titus, that we have been waiting for a blessed hope, a manifestation (an outward demonstration, a materialization of something that has previously only been imagined) of the glory of God. And now, that for which we have been waiting has appeared.
Salvation is actually here, right in front of us — all around us, actually. Open your eyes, see it, feel it, hear it. Know it to be true to the depths of your soul. Jesus Christ is God, with us!
Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)Cue Linus.
The Christmas speech from Charlie Brown’s best bud is indelibly burned in the consciousness of the Peanuts generation; happily, through the magic of DVD’s and Blu-Ray, the immortal moment lives on for new generations, as well.
Have you stopped to consider what a joy it is to continue to tell this story, year after year? We don’t want to let it ever become blase, just another story that we read.
Whether it’s the “terror” of the shepherds at the first sighting of the angels, or the deep pondering of the Holy Mother at all that was happening around her…may we recover some of the mystery and awe of the events described in the gospel in our own hearing and telling.
by the Rev. Dr. Delmer L. Chilton
After I finished laughing, I started thinking and realized that while that line sums up a lot of our thinking about how God works, it’s just not true.
Not just or primarily us as individuals, but us as the human race, us as humanity.
No, it’s not that we are individually evil; it’s that the world is in a mess, and can find no way out.
When Christ came, there was hunger and social injustice and war raged upon innocents, all in the name of such things as Truth and Justice and National Security.
And into such a world God sent the Son.
The message then and the message now is that we are not alone in the midst of the world’s evil,
God has come to us in the midst of our distress. In the middle of our loneliness and despair,
Christ came to be a beacon of light in a dark world.
Christ did not come so that we can have parties and give gifts.
When we realize that, we are ready to celebrate with somber joy and reverent jubilation.
Amen and amen.