Toorak Uniting Church

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Imagine a journey

Rev. Anneke Oppewal
Christmas Day
10:00 am, 25 December 2007

A couple of weeks ago, at one of the many Christmas functions I attended somebody asked what my message was for Christmas this year. At first I really didn’t know what to answer. The same I guess, I answered a bit lame. God’s gift of love coming into the world spreading light and hope. The same really as it has been for the last 2000 years.

It made me think. Wasn’t there anything more exiting to say? Something about values perhaps, something meaningful geared towards this day and age? Something people could go home and do - or feel good about?

I thought long and hard to come to only one conclusion: My Christmas message is the same as it has been for the last two thousand years and for me that doesn’t mean it has lost any of its power:

For me the message of Christmas is that God breaks into our world with his own agenda of love, hope, peace, hoping that we will take up the challenge and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

That God comes time and time again, not forcing himself upon us or our world, but coming, vulnerable as a newborn baby inviting our care and love. Bringing good things to birth in us and keeping us moving towards a new world.

Thinking about what my Christmas message should be for this year, if it should have an ecological, social, political, economic, personal or religious edge to it, I came across the words printed below.

Words you may want to think about in the few moments of quiet time I will give you after this reflection. About what Christ and Christmas might mean in your life:

A dedication to cherish the fragile gift of God’s love, to give that love a chance at every turn, to not let our hopes be crushed by the cynicism of our time but to believe that our world can change. To open our hearts to hope, peace, and joy, so God can come to birth in us, so they will grow in us and flow from us into the world spreading light and love wherever we go.

When the Christ is born, we will be near.
We will cherish his fragile life in faith.
We will commit our lives
to the opening of the doors of the world
for the coming of love.
We will tend to the hope that lies in our hands
so it may blossom in abundant life.
We will be those who kneel by the manger
and carry peace to the people,
for these are the gifts which Christ waits to receive.
Amen.

© Rev. Anneke Oppewal, 2007


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