Christmas Sermon, 2018

Christmas Sermon, 2018

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

Luke 2:15

COME one, come all; come rich, come poor; come mighty, come weak. Come, you who are in high places, and you who are low, for today is born for us a child in whom the valleys are exalted, and the mountains bowed down. Come liberal, come conservative; come republican, come democrat; come sinner, come righteous, for today is born for us the one in whom we are one; today is born for us the true King, the judge and measure of all things, whose goodness adjudicates goodness, whose love arbitrates love. Leave hard opinion behind you, and come to the one who lies in meekness and quietude, whose eyes behold the depths of hope; cast down all your crowns before him, relax the neck held willfully stiff, and lower your eyes, for down here heaven has come to be found. Let frozen hearts thaw into a fluid libation in honor of the little babe, in whom alone is our holiness and our salvation.


You who are heavy-laden, drop down the load and come to see him who has dropped down from the heights to bear you up upon broad shoulders, to exalt you as a bird on the breath of God. You who are proud, let the concrete towers of your self-sufficiency crumble to the fertile earth, and come; come to the newborn one who has given birth and life and all to you; who is the ground of your very being and foundation of all you are. You who are dejected, rise to your feet and come; you who are afraid, take heart and come. Come, you who stammer and you who are eloquent; come you who are simple and you who are clever; dull and bright together, come; come and listen to the wordless babe who is the Word and wisdom of God.


Come crooked, come straight; come wicked, come virtuous; come sinner, come saint; come to gaze in the eyes of the child of Mary, to behold that incalculable ocean of benefaction, in whose still waters what is sullied is made clean, and what is clean is engulfed in the radiant depths of the mystery of God.


You who are young, and you who are old, infant and elder together; you who are ailing, and you who are hale; the hurt and the whole, come. Come to the one whose obedience is freedom, whose suffering is joy, whose death is life.


Come you winds and frosts, you hills and dales, you beasts and creeping things and birds on the wing, come to the cradle of him who is the cradle of all being, the font of all nature, wonder of wonders, the life of the living, and the beauty of the beautiful. Come to him one, and come to him all, who is alpha and omega, source and goal, beginning and end. Forsake yourselves in reckless love; forget yourselves in ecstatic adoration; abandon all fear and anxiety, cast off all bitterness and guile, toss away all pride, deny all despondency, and come, come to the little babe in whom all the full immensities of God are pleased to dwell. Come to him, that he might come to you; abide in him, that he may abide in you; clear a highway into the wilderness of your secret sins and sorrows, for the King and Judge and Bridegroom comes in the mighty armor of a humble child; his throne a manger, his scepter a sprig of wheat-hay. From here, in the secret depths of his unassuming mildness, he casts out the demons, illumines the ignorant, storms the gates of death and hell, ruling all heaven and earth from a manger.


Cast down your crowns before him, lift up your hearts, and come, all you faithful citizens of his true and only kingdom. Come and offer all your troubles and all your treasures to Jesus Christ our Lord. To him be all glory, dominion, and honor, unto all ages of ages. Amen.

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