Sermon preached in the Chapel and at 6pm on Sunday, December 20, 2018
How do you honor a gift? Typically we take initiative to connect with the giver of the gift and say “thank you.” Right? (I remember as a child being constantly coaxed, prodded, and later threatened to write my “thank you notes” after Christmas. Sound familiar?) “Thank you, God”. In a way that’s “worship” in a nutshell. But…thank you for what?
A capacity that is uniquely human is the capacity to reflect. We have been created with the ability to look back and look into that “something.” We call it insight. We turn our conscious attention to it and ask “So what? Why is this significant to anyone; why is this significant to me? ”
The birth of a child, any child, is swaddled in awe and mystery. It is wrapped up in the miraculous. Certainly every parent knows the touch of this truth. But this child in particular….this Jesus….”what child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping?”
Over the 12 Days of Christmas we honor the Christmas gift of Jesus by coming together in order to once again focus our reflection on this particular newborn human baby wrapped in swaddling and lying in a manger on a bed of straw. “And The Word became flesh…and dwelt among us…and we have beheld his glory….”
To “behold” …to look upon and reflect, to ponder the significance of a gift that releases a wellspring of gratitude. That’s one thing. And it’s important. Be it’s one thing to behold and another to hold! I remember looking upon but then holding my newborn son for the first time. I remember looking upon but then holding my newborn daughter for the first time. Come spend some time with me this Sunday reflecting with gratitude on the significance of this kind of transition. Behold the babe lying in the manger. But then…..