Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
What is Christmas? Over the last few days all of my readings have pointed to one of the basic definitions. Christmas is about relationship? I offer you today this quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God,
But only those who see, take off their shoes.
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.”
Celebrating tonight and tomorrow are those who have come to pick the blackberries. They know that Christmas is about family, giving, love. They, like all of us, can see and enjoy the blackberries, the joys of relationships.
When we come to Christmas with the eyes of Christian faith, we see the bush loaded with blackberries and alight with the fire of God’s love. We know that bush will never be consumed. We know the delicious blackberries are always available to nurture us with life.
I am excited, thrilled, privileged to come to church tonight and see, experience, the wonder of God’s love, what Elizabeth Barrett Browning calls heaven on earth. I have already taken off my shoes. I will enter the stable and feel God’s love; a love so committed, so strong, so unconditional, that God risked being born as a helpless baby needing us for life. I will listen to the story and let the wonder, the miracle of God’s love, acceptance, forgiveness well up in my soul.
The miracle of Jesus’ birth happens every day, with the birth of every child, even with my birth and yours. I can only take off my shoes and enter God’s presence with total joy. I can live the miracle of Christmas everyday.
My wish for you is another step into the joy, the miracle of Christmas tonight and tomorrow. Stop, remove whatever keeps your mind racing, soak in God’s love until your entire being glows. Risk becoming the “God’s miracle of Christmas for 2018”.