Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Lived

My sermon this noon was probably not terribly coherent, as I hadn't had much sleep since Midnight Mass the morning before. Yet, I am always intrigued this time of year by Lancelot Andrewes' Christmas sermons and his emphasis on Christ made manifest to us through bread and wine in the Eucharist, just as He was made manifest to the shepherds and eventually to the wise men while He was in Bethlehem.

My text was out of Matthew, chapter two, and I was caught by the simple plan of the wise men and the simple action of the wise men when they arrived. They told Herod that they wanted to find the King of the Jews and worship him. Indeed, when they arrived, that's exactly what they did, falling to the ground and eventually giving an oblation--gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

There have been more than a few Christmases, when I've been under the weather, tired and worn out, lazy--sipping my hot chocolate in my sister's comfortable couch, family all around--when I didn't really feel like getting down to the Church and celebrating the Eucharist. Yet, each time, I hauled myself up and out and down to the Church--and each time, I recognized that I was exactly where God wanted me. I was doing exactly what the wise men did on that first Christmas, and I could hardly find a better example than the first Gentiles to meet Jesus.

So, I reflect again on the basic and simple nature of God's calling to His children:

Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the new born King.

It's that simple. That's the foundation of our lives. As we pass this glorious Christmastide in revelry and feasting, as we ought, we should also remember that the foundation of that revelry and feasting is the worship of our King. That's Christmas lived.

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