Fr. Matt’s 2018 Christmas Message
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Collect for Christmas Eve, BCP 212
The dominant symbol for Christmas in that of Light.
The world was full of darkness, we were a people stumbling around in our blindness. We were slaves of those powers of darkness, of sin, violence, and death. Our world deserved only judgement and to be handed over to the powers of our own destruction.
And yet, He Who is Light itself, rather than handing us over to our own despair, turned to our world and loved us. He Who is Light sent His Light into the world, and adopted us as His own. He sent His Light into the world and the forces of darkness, of sin, violence, and death, were vanquished into the shadows of this world. He sent His Light into the world and dwelt among us, sharing with us the brilliance of His light, and by the Light being Emmanuel, God with us, the wretchedness of human life was transformed and elevated.
The Light was handed onto us to share with each other and we became the sisters and brothers of the Light, and the children of Him Who is Light itself. We no longer are slaves to our own blindness, but now, as children of the Light, we sing the glory of the Light that has come into this World, and in the brilliance of His Light, has transformed the brokenness of this world into a Kingdom where the Light will abide no shadows.
For this reason, we celebrate Christmas with lights. We string lights on our Christmas trees and on our houses. We place candles in our windows and prepare for Christmas with an advent wreath with candles. All around us, as the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, the air has a chill, and we tend to be more shut inside our homes, light and warmth abound.
In our waning days of Adventide, I invite each member of the congregation to consider where the shadows in each of our lives and our community need to be redeemed by the coming of the Light. Where in our congregational life or in our families and relationships ought we to invite the Light? What redemptions and reconciliations could be brought to bear if we have the courage to welcome the Light into our lives and drive out our shadows?
We welcome the One Who is Light itself into our world. We need not fear the judgement of this Light, As our world’s brokenness and shadows have already been vanquished. Instead, we bask in the warm glow of the Light That has come into the world, and we long for the Kingdom that the Light establishes, wherein we find our true citizenship.
Warmest Christmas wishes you all. Godspeed all travelers! May your families and friends bask in the warmth and glow of love!