Lucia Lloydís sermon

Preached:

Dec. 24, 2017

Christmas Eve, 2017

Air Date:

Jan 7, 2018

Luke 2

 

Todayís program is sponsored by Kaye and L.H. Seamster in memory of Evelyn King.

 

†††††††† Some of the most interesting conversations Iíve had have come from asking about beginnings.† Asking couples how they met, asking people how they originally got into the field of their career, or how they got into the hobby they most enjoy.† People often tell the story of how something that seemed ordinary or small at the time appealed to them, or drew them, or sparked something in them that grew into something life-changing as they explored it.†

†††††††† It can be an amazing thing to look back on something that has become such a huge part of our lives over the decades and consider how it began.† Or maybe, in some cases, not quite how it began exactly, but how we first noticed it.† The moment when someone realizes they want to do more with music may be the moment that sets them on that path, but their musical inclination has been in them all along.†

†††††††† And isnít that how it is with God?† God who is eternal, and yet thatís a lot for us humans to take in.† And so God starts with something small, a small baby, as we gradually learn to relate to God, to help us realize who God is, this eternal and infinite love.† Our scriptures from Luke are a way of telling the story of how it all began.† Or, since God has been there all along, it tells us how our awareness of it began.

†††††††† And it begins in the middle of the ordinary.† A couple dealing with the problems of life, without much money, away from home and family, in a world in which the powerful are abusing their power and the vulnerable try to manage the best they can under difficult circumstances. Some scruffy shepherds, also without much money, considered the riff-raff of society.† The problems donít instantly vanish.† What happens is the realization that the problems of life are not all there is.

†††††††† What happens is the beginning of the realization that in addition to the problems of life there is an infinite and eternal love.† Over time, we will become aware of the ways in which this love will teach us and heal us, will care for the poor and the outcast, will show mercy and justice, will take the sins that we cannot overcome despite our best intentions and our best efforts, and will sacrifice everything to reunite us with God.† Over time, we will become aware that this love which comes to us in the form of human flesh is also a love which is infinitely larger than space and time.† It is a love that cannot be limited by death.† It is a love of overwhelming joy.

†††††††† Luke presents such a contrast between the smallness and poverty of a baby in an animalís feed trough and the multitude of the heavenly host praising the magnificent glory of God.† In this contrast, Luke highlights how the smallest beginnings can lead us to an awareness of what is glorious and joyful and divine.†

†††††††† There may be times when our faith seems small.† Still, any faith at all, a sense of gratitude for the blessings of our lives, a sense of beauty or love that comes to us as a gift, even the spark of hope for faith, has potential, by our own desire and by the grace of God, to turn out to be the beginning of a life-transforming relationship with a love that is infinite and eternal, glorious and joyful, a love of which the angels sing.