Friday, December 25, 2009

Chistmas Eve Sermon - 10 PM

On this most Holy Night, as we have listened to the words of Scripture telling us of salvation, as we have sung the carols and listened to the anthems that make our hearts glad, I am reminded of the words from the Nativity Sermon of St. Isaac the Syrian, who calls us all to rejoice tonight in peace:
This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world; So let no one threaten;
This is the night of the Most Gentle One -Let no one be cruel;
This is the night of the Humble One - Let no one be proud.
Now is the day of joy - Let us not revenge;
Now is the day of Good Will - Let us not be mean.
In this Day of Peace - Let us not be conquered by anger.
Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake; So, rich one, invite the poor to your table.
Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask; So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us.
This present Day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers; Let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.
Today the Divine Being took upon Himself the seal of our humanity, In order for humanity to be decorated by the Seal of Divinity.
Tonight we open our hearts, to see the Christ child not only in the manger but in our midst, the Prince of Peace… In the words of the poet Maya Angelou:
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.
Tonight, we celebrate in peace and joy Christ’s birth in Bethlehem and in our hearts. May we make Jesus’ birth real in our lives by what we say and do this Christmas and always. Amen.

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