Christmas Day sermon 2017
Christmas Day Festive Eucharist
Luke chapter 2, according to the Street Bible
So why have I offered us the Street Bible version of the Christmas story this Christmas Day in morning? Well, unlike most of our bible stories which we perhaps don’t know well enough, I think we might be in danger of knowing this one too well.
Tidings of comfort and joy are welcome and needed for us all, but if this good news story becomes only a cosy nativity scene then we miss an important part of it. Because it’s a radical and precarious and unlikely story of God coming among us. Dangerous. Sparky.
It’s not confined to church and it’s not confined to Christmas. This talk of Jesus as the Liberator is serious and challenging – he’s come to save us and to redeem the world, a world we know that is in need of that salvation. And we know it for ourselves too, don’t we?
We are made, the bible and the scientists tell us, of dust. And here’s some earth dust – iron powder. It’s what the earth’s core is made of, the most common element in our planet. It doesn’t look anything special. Not on its own, anyway.
But look what happens when we introduce the dust of the earth to the light of the world.
The dust of the earth comes alive when it touches the light of Christ. When Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world’ he meant that he was bringing the light of heaven right into the midst of earth’s darkness. When he said, ‘you are the light of the world’ he meant that he could transform our dull dustiness into bright shining sparks of God’s love in the world!
Not just in church. Not just at Christmas. They can fire and inspire every part of our lives. Even the parts that seem hopeless, that we sometimes despair of.
Each one of us have different and unique gifts to bring and to offer. The light and love of Jesus is with us, and giving us new life, so that we can trust in his light and bring it to the dark places of this world, far or near.
There is plenty of fruit from your doing this over many years in lots of different and often unsung ways. But our calling and invitation to follow Jesus is always new each day, each Christmas. So what might this mean for you in the year to come?
In the words of our baptism service – for each one of us – Shine as lights in the world to the glory of God!
In Christ, wishing you joy, a sparky Christmas – and a sparky life in 2018!
James Percival, Team Rector of Limpsfield & Tatsfield