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The First Sunday after Christmas: Lessons & Carols with Eucharist Reflection December 27, 2015 - The Rev. Canon Janet Campbell

The First Sunday after Christmas: Lessons & Carols with Eucharist
Genesis 3:8-24 The Garden of Eden;
Isaiah 61:10-62:3 The Garments of Salvation
Luke 2:1-7 The Birth of Jesus;
Luke 2:8-20 An Angel Visits the Shepherds;  
Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7 Adopted as God’s Children;
John 1:1-18 The Word Incarnate
Christ Episcopal Church
Tacoma, Washington
Sunday, December 27, 2015
The Rev. Canon Janet B. Campbell
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
What word has spoken to you,
of the many words we’ve
said and sung
this first Sunday after Christmas Day,
this third day of the twelve days of Christmas?
A word perhaps of humble gratitude?
For we,
who have done nothing to deserve it,
and surely have done things undeserving,
          (we are after all descendents of Adam and Eve
          and subject to their weaknesses) . . .
We, through the goodness of God
have been clothed with
          the garments of salvation,
                   the robe of righteousness.
God from God,
light from light,
became incarnate,
humbled himself,
          clothed himself
                   in the fullness of humanity,
that we, fully human,
          might be clothed with divinity,
          through our baptism
                   might put on Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Or a word perhaps of sweet amazement?
At the sight once more
of the laughing baby in the manger,
his mother gazing at him
          in loving wonderment.
For love of us,
          the creator of the universe
came into human being
          in the womb of a peasant girl,
entered the world he had made,
          as each of us entered this world,
          in all the helplessness of a newborn baby.
Wrapped in bands of cloth,
laid in the animals’ feeding trough,
the One who would be for us
          the bread of life
that we also might be
bread for the world.
Thanks be to God.
Or perhaps the word is silence . . .
as Mary fell silent before
the strangeness of it all . . .
the arduous journey to Bethlehem,
refuge and labor and birth in a stable,
the sudden arrival of shepherds
smelling of damp wool and the cold night,
crowding around her baby
and babbling
of angels,
the coming of a Savior, the Messiah, the Lord,
and the sign of a child
          wrapped in bands of cloth
          and lying in a manger . . .
Too much to take in all at once.
When the shepherds went away at last,
Mary, wrapped in silence, 
pondered all these things in her heart.
As we,
when the mayhem
of the secular world’s Christmas
has gone away at last,
might dwell in the silence of our own hearts
to ponder all the present meaning
          of that long ago birth.
(Whisper) Thanks be to God.
Or perhaps the word is light,
the light that came into the world
in Christ,
light that shines in the darkness
and the darkness did not overcome it . . .
And the world’s darkness,
of which there is plenty,
cannot overcome it
and will never overcome it . . .
And we,
made heirs of the light,
that we also might be
light for the world.
Thanks be to God.
Or perhaps it’s another Word
that’s all your own,
that God is whispering in your heart
right now.
Perhaps it’s a word of joy,
or perhaps of sorrow,
or hope,
or longing,
or patience,
perhaps forgiveness,
or apology,
anxiety . . .
all our words,
all the words of the human condition,
are spoken
in the one Word,
the Word become flesh . . .
who lived all our words
and answered them
with one Word
and that word is Love.
Love came down at Christmas,
God’s love for all God has made.
become flesh,
dwelling among us,
full of
Grace and Truth.
Thanks be to God,
evermore and evermore.