Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

May your anticipation find fulfillment in the light of Christ. May you and yours receive the Word that gives life to all living.

Tim+, Melissa, Tim & Joey Fountain
Sermon for Christmas Eve, 2007
Fr. Tim Fountain

What Are You Waiting For?
(Titus 2:11-14 & Luke 2:1-20)
What are you waiting for this Christmas?
*Maybe nothing – the shepherds were just doing the same old thing and got scared out of their wits.
*Maybe your pile of year-end business – Joseph, Mary and all the people were going various places because they had to be counted for taxes.
*Maybe a round of parties, presents and other pleasures to fill a few hours. (And I won’t deny that I’m right there with you in waiting on some fun this season!)

But is there more that we are waiting for, those of us who have come out tonight for Christian worship?
*Might we be waiting for self-control and hope to replace failures and fears?
*Might we be waiting for confidence and inspiration to burn away old regrets and shame?
*Might we be waiting to change the world instead of letting the world stick us with the same-old, same-old?

If you are waiting for these better and brighter things, then you don’t really have to wait any longer.
*Join the shepherds, who said, “Let’s go now!” Don’t just endure the same old words about Jesus, step into them and meet him.
*Join Mary, and start treasuring and pondering God’s good news in your heart. Let God change you from the inside out, starting right now.
*Join the whole communion of saints across all times and all places, and let your passion to do good bring more of God into your life, your home, your work, your community and the whole world.

Tonight we give thanks that Jesus lives in our world – and because he is with us, we can stop waiting for so many things:
*If we are waiting to find affection, “the grace of God has appeared”. We don’t have to attract or impress Jesus or earn his attention; just hear the angels announce that he is a gift because “God favors us.”
*If we are waiting for reassurance about our regrets and failures, Jesus “brings salvation to all…redeems us… and purifies us for himself.” He’ll do all the clean up work on our messes.
*If we are waiting for direction and meaning in life, Jesus “trains us” and makes us “zealous for good deeds.” He shows us the way, if we listen to his word.

So, what are you waiting for? He’s here with us now. Let us pray… together now in church, and later – on your own, with your family, in other places – let us pray:

Father in heaven, thank you for love.
Jesus, thank you for coming to help us tonight and always.
Holy Spirit, thank you for making us new every day.

Dear God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, help us to be more and more like you:
by letting you love us so we can love others;
by letting you help us so we can help others;
by letting you change us so we can help you change the world.

We pray in the Name of Jesus, your gift to all of us. Amen.


Alice C. Linsley said...

Christ our God is purifying us indeed. And our messes? HE orders us to start cleaning these up on our knees.

Anonymous said...

God Jul to you all!


Anonymous said...

THANKS for the picture, and even more for the little gem of a homily. I find it much, much harder to preach a good 5 minute sermon than a good 20 minute one. It takes such self-control and the intense focus of a laser-beam.

Well done, my friend.

Advent is a time of waiting, of anticipation and preparation. But eventually waiting comes to an end, and Christmas comes at last. As the Psalmist said so well, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Alleluia! Thanks be to God!