Christmas Eve

Good Evening Church,

Tonight we join together, in spirit, to celebrate the entrance of our Savior into our world. We celebrate that a child has been born for us, whose name is called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting father, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God With us!! These past four weeks we have dove into the peace, hope, joy, and love of Jesus Christ. We have asked how this Christ can challenge our hearts, move our spirits, and transform our lives. We have engaged with texts, that though were not all traditional for this year, were fitting being that this year has been an untraditional year.

Every year, we come to this day seeking this Christ. We come to celebrate this Lord of Lord’s. So, how are we going to celebrate him this year? With a year that is so different, how can we celebrate him best? How do we best remember him who is so worthy? I believe that it begins first with our hearts and second with our actions. Jesus taught his disciples the importance of allowing for God to move in our hearts and for us to respond to God’s call.

We have come to this day with many worries about the life of our church, the life of our country, and the life of our world. We have many fears which have been shared amongst this community, through times of fellowship, prayer, and study. There are aspects of this world that are clearly not in line with the intention of our Lord. We have been witness to them every day through this stringing and difficult year. It is for these very reasons that this season of the year is such an important time of the year for all Christians around the world. It is for this very reason that we ask again, how do we celebrate this Christ?

I believe that it begins with how we treat our fellow neighbors. Jesus tells us that ways in which we serve others and love others that we are serving and loving him. To care for our neighbors and love our community is to celebrate and love Jesus Christ. That is why I was so proud this week. This week I received a call from a church member, Lory Albin, and she informed me of a young woman who has been struggling and hurting a lot this year. Lory spoke, with passion, about the love this mom has for her boys and the effort that she puts into loving them and taking care of them. She spoke about how this mother has been feeling the stress of this year more greatly because of COVID-19 and that she was in need of help.

First, I am so glad that this mother took the time to reach out and ask for help. To ask for help can be a scary and possibly hurtful action to take. It shows the love this mother has for her boys and her desire to leave no stone unturned. I am proud of the quick response of Lory and her eager willingness to help this mother, especially by meeting the needs that the mom specifically offered. I am proud of the church who jumped into action to donate to help this mom and love on her during this important time of the year. They call Christmas the season of giving and I believe that as the church we have the most important role to play during this season that is so vital to our faith.

God has called Gods people to take our faith to the next level. We are called to be in the world, but also to be apart from it. We are called to not return evil with evil, insult with insult, but are instead called to live like Christ in order to inherit our blessing. We are called to freedom that we may be able to serve one another. We are called to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, the peace which we have talked about much these last few weeks. Which is a peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the peace that will sustain all of Gods people through all of eternity.

This season of advent which leads to Christmas is the season in which we can recapture the passion and zeal which we all need to have for Christ. We are to find the zeal for serving our Lord God Almighty. This all began when Christ was brought into this world. Christ came into a world which was torn apart, a world where the people had chosen their own path and that path was going to lead to their own destruction.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

In the beginning was that Word and the Word was with God, and was God. Christ being the Word made flesh, left the safety and comfort of God’s presence to be with us. Christ having been sent to this world shows God’s willingness to do anything for creation. Through Christ, God chose the difficult path in order to bring life and light to the people of this world. Christ’s coming is the beginning of the end for all darkness in this world. There is nothing that darkness can do in order to stop the light. Sure there are times when the light can be difficult to find in the darkness, but it always shines. Like a flashlight that is turned on and has a bucket placed on top of it. You may not see the light because the bucket is there, but the light is still shinning and you will be able to find it.

Thank you for being the church for our world, our local community and for this young family during their time of need. Jesus is the light that guides our every step along the journey of life. In this difficult and frustrating year, it brings this pastors heart hope for the future that is just around the corner. If we are able to do as much as we have while we have been apart, how much more will we do when we are back together again? Remember that those who are born of God are not just saved people, but have been given a role to play in Christ’s plan. Christ came to begin the process of restoring the light in the darkness, restoring the Kingdom of God. We as believers are also tasked with helping the prepare for this coming Kingdom. This season of advent and Christmas are a reminder of Christ who came to begin the process which will come through his death and resurrection that we will soon be celebrating in just a few short months.

Friends, let us embrace the love which was shown to us by the sending of this Christ child. Let us embrace the love which Christ modeled for us through his life and ministry in this world. Let us be empowered by the grace and mercy of God, to take this love and make it a part of ourselves. May we be reminded of the greatest love which came in the form of a child, and take this love out into the world. From this day going forward throughout our lives, let us not forget how Christ has loved us and let us not forget to love others in this way. How are we going to be changed for this new year? What are we going to do differently in response to this Love of Christ in our lives? Amen.