Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday Sermon Notes 12.20.09

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Linus does a masterful job of quoting from the Gospel According to Luke. Through his recitation we are reminded that "unto us is born this day, in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." It's a great answer - but what does that mean?

Paul gives it a shot, he attempts (what I think is a really good) answer:
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God
and were enemies in your minds
because of your evil behavior.
But now he has reconciled you
by Christ's physical body through death
to present you holy in his sight,
without blemish and free from accusation—
if you continue in your faith, established and firm,
and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Christ the Lord has come, according to Linus and Paul, to be a Saviour who makes peace amongst us. To what lengths will God go to in order to make peace with humanity and amongst humanity? God is willing to have all his fullness dwell within Jesus of Nazareth, He's willing to let humanity do it's worst to Him, and then to forgive them. That's how far God is willing to go to make peace. And that is what Christmas is all about.

Not only is Christmas all about Christ coming to make peace amongst us, but its also about Christ working through us to make more peace on earth. To use one of Paul's metaphors, if Christ is the Head and We are the Body, then we are to be part of the ongoing work in the world to make peace, to do work of reconciliation, to be part of the restoring work that is much needed.

Humans have proven themselves to be creatively inventive, brilliant, diligent, and capable of enormous good, even greatness. And, of course, of terrible evil. What's one thing that humans have not figured out yet? Lots, but one of them is how to make lasting peace between family members, neighbors, and nations. And Christ keeps insisting that he wants to be known for one thing on the earth - and he wants his people to be known for one thing: making peace, for reconciling.

What if these people who follow Jesus applied all their ingenuity and determination and passion into making more peace wherever they live?

Imagine... it's easy if you try.

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