Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Eve Sermon

Just a few minutes ago, you helped me set up our Nativity (our crèche). We have the angels, the shepherds, Mary & Joseph of course and baby Jesus. There are the animals too and sometimes they have a story to tell us…

The Naughty Donkey by Agatha Christie

This is the night that we remember how our world was transformed by the birth of the baby Jesus. Tonight, shepherds will leave their flocks to find the Good News in the manger, angels will sing. And a donkey would stop being naughty and look to be good, keeping the holy family safe.

So tonight when you head off to bed, remember the baby Jesus born humbly in a manger for all of us tonight. Let us end with a prayer, a prayer from a verse in Away in a Manger. Repeat after me:
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven
to live with Thee there. Amen.
Agatha Christie the crime novelist said in her autobiography, that in her mystery books, she wanted to include ideas of right and wrong and religious faith, but her publishers didn’t want that, so she wrote a book of short stories from which The Naughty Donkey is drawn from, that explores her faith. (A Star over Bethlehem)

It brings right and wrong and places it right before us & asks us to consider what we would do. On that Christmas night long ago, just as tonight, whether we are a poor shepherd, a naughty donkey, or a rich king on the way to the manger, it is this baby who will transform our lives.
  • What is the baby Jesus saying to you tonight?
  • What if the baby reached out his hand and touched you tonight…
May all of us gathered here, with the awe of the shepherds, the voice of the angels and the humility of those animals, remember in our hearts that tonight there is good news of great joy for us all: born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, our Lord. Amen.

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