December 25, 2015 – The Rev. James Richardson

Christmas Day 2015

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

It would be easier to have nothing than something.

It would be easier to have no physical matter in the universe than even a speck of dust.

It would be easier to have total darkness than even a spark of light.

It would be easier to have an empty vacuum than to have stars and trees and moonlight.

Even time itself is something. It would be easier to not have time.

But there is time, and there is matter, and there is starlight, and sunlight, and we are very definitely something.

Indeed, we are awash in light, and the darkness does not overcome it. We are connected to each other in this light, and connected to everything that is and will be.

And the darkness will not overcome it.

In the beginning, John’s gospel proclaims this morning, all things came into being through the Word of of God – the heart and mind of God – or in the Greek of the New Testament, the Logos of God.

Into the world came the Logos of God, the heart and mind of God made flesh, walking among us for a time as a human being, as “Emmanuel” – the name means, “God is with us.”

You might think it odd that we hear this passage from John on Christmas morning.

Last night we got angels and shepherds in the field, and the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes in a manger.

We heard the Christmas story last night through the eyes of Luke.

But John’s gospel tells us the Christmas story in a different way.

John gives us the story of Christmas as a poet might tell it. John writes that the God’s “Logos,” God’s heart, exists beyond the confines of time and space and matter, and is truly cosmic in scope.

This morning, we hear what Christmas is ultimately about: God coming to us as an innocent baby, not just to save a people who lived long ago, or to save people in a particular nation or tribe, or to save only those people in a church.

This baby comes to save the entire universe.

The birth of this baby long ago represents the deepest longing of God’s heart to fill the darkness with light, to bind up our broken hearts, to fill the silence with joy, and to bring wholeness and healing to every corner of this universe that is wounded and hurting.

The word “Christ” comes from Christos, which means to heal.

The heart of God comes as Jesus the Christ, the healer, to fill the darkness of the universe with the light of love.

I don’t need to tell you that our world is much in need of this light right now: We live in a world of wars, violence, epidemics, poverty, environmental degredation, global warming – and even without all that, there is the loneliness that many people feel this time of year.

We are the bearers of this light of Christ.

To us this light is given for us not to hide, but to shine for all to see through our words, our actions, and our compassion with each other and those around us.

God longs for us to experience that we are all truly connected to each other through God’s own living heart – and to live like we know it. That is the definition of faith.

“From his fullness,” the gospel of John tell us, “we have all received, grace upon grace.”

And so this greatest of Christmas gifts comes to you and I this day, and comes to us every day forever.

May this light of Christmas enkindle your heart, fill you with hope and courage, and may many blessings light your path in the days and year to come.

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

AMEN