This is my Christmas sermon. Preached Christmas morning at 10AM… 30 minutes after discovering my car had a flat tire… but that is a story for another post. This is my sermon inspired by John 1.


Several years ago there was a television series called, “Kids say the darndest things.” The premise of the show was that the host would interview children and simply record their candid answers to the questions posed. The entire program was just a half hour of the host interviewing children about their lives and waiting for them to say funny things. If you’ve ever been around children than you know that you never had to wait very long before the children would say something outlandish causing the live studio audience to burst into laughter. This is why the expression “out of the mouths of babes” exists: Children are utterly honest. Children are a mirror we hold up to the world to see its truest reflection. But children are also among the most vulnerable in our world. Children are not inherently in a position of power; they need caring adults to ensure their safety and to listen to them. When children are in the most danger is when they are living in a situation where their voices cannot be heard.
God had sent prophets and angels into the world to speak to the people in the past. And still the people turned away. God spoke to Moses in the burning bush and sent the commandments down from Sinai, but still the people did not follow. God needed to turn the entire world around and to do this God had to do something completely unexpected. So God sent God’s self into the world as a little child to lead them all.
Unbelievable, and yet, here we sit on this Christmas morning two-thousand years after that night in the stable in Bethlehem. Unbelievable.
We need something to believe in. We are living in dark times. The Advent season this year was particularly dark. Last week a man was in so much pain in his own life that he chose to walk into a school and take the lives of the most innocent among us. Unbelievable, yet it’s true. We need a light to break into our darkness. And this morning, our light has come.
I’ve always loved being outside at night in the winter because the stars we see in the winter shine even more clearly than they do the rest of the year. I know there are scientific reasons for all of this, but for me, it’s just really pretty. I grew up in the woods, and I used to love to lie in our backyard hammock, wrapped in a comforter, to look at the stars on cold winter nights. The feeling of my face catching a bitter chill while the rest of my body was warmly nestled in my cocoon is one of my favorite sensations. The irony of this is: I am also terrified of the dark.
There were no street lights out where I grew up. It was truly pitch-black at night, which is what made it possible to see the full brilliance of the night sky. I rarely ventured out to the hammock because of my fear. When I did go out, I’d run on my tiptoes as quietly as I could. I’d often leap the last step and land in the hammock nearly capsizing into the snow. I didn’t feel safe until I was fully wrapped up from head to toe. I guess that is why my image of God is one of a fluffy down comforter. From the safety of my comforter I could experience the wonder of the night sky. The safety of my comforter allowed me to experience the light in the darkness.
I think that is what God realized when God sent us Jesus. God knew that we felt safely wrapped in God’s love but we’d become complacent. We needed help to see that there was more available to us: more love, more peace, more mission, more forgiveness, more living to do if only we could see beyond the horizon and into the possibilities beyond our own backyard hammocks.
CS Lewis wrote: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
This morning the sun rose and with that dawning of a new day the bells of Christmas also tolled. There is a beautiful Christmas truth to CS Lewis’ message. There are days when it feels impossible to believe and on those days we have to look outside of our selves for evidence of God in the world around us. I believe that Jesus Christ is born because I look out and see Christ looking back at me in all of the faces here this Christmas morning. There is darkness in this world, that is true; but there is also a beautiful and indescribable light. A light that comes from the peace that passes all understanding gifted to us by our Savior Jesus Christ.
So go forward today and hug your family members. Look at the faces of the children beaming as they skip down the street. Smile at the other drivers on the road. Reach out to a neighbor who might not have folks to visit with them this year. Be a light in the darkness to all you encounter. Because this morning Jesus broke into our world and your act of love and kindness might be the light in the darkness for those who seek God.
Good morning! Happy Christmas!