Sermon: Christmas is a gift

It is hard at Christmastime for Christian believers to see other people who don’t practice the Christian faith still getting all involved in Christmas. Decorating, gift giving, parties --- it seems strange that people do these things if they are not celebrating Christ.

But maybe they are, just in a different way. Maybe they don’t even realize it.

If we are not willing to put an exclamation mark after His name and stand at attention, then we must put a question mark after His name and sit in silence. If we do not follow Him, then the least we must do is wonder about Him. For the one thing we cannot do is ignore Him. However, unwilling we are to admit the impact of His life on ours, the fact stands established that we are where we are today, doing what we are doing, in the way we are doing it, because once upon a time there lived a man named Jesus. Whatever our lives might have been without Him, they are decisively different because of Him. And even for those who are not committed to Him, He is still a major force in our present reality.

We may no longer be able to come to Christmas with the wild-eyed wonder of a child. But we can come with our eyes open to the meaning of the birth of Jesus.  We can come with our listening heightened to hear the call of God to us. We can move out of that feeling of being bogged down in routine to a new drive for action. We can use Christmas as a catalyst for change.

We have so much to celebrate. Not a world that has nothing in it but good, but a world that is good, while having so much in it that is bad.

Not a life that knows no darkness, but a life in which even those who walk in darkness can see a great light.

Not a God who gives us everything we want, but a God who gives us everything we have, and promises us all we need.

Whatever we believe about Christmas, Christmas still is a gift given to all of us.

Rev. Nancy Mead

First United Methodist Church