Living in a nation where greed, racism and bigotry make Christians blind to all kinds evil, even overlooking accusations of child molestation, I cannot help but to think that what we need more than anything else is a little Christmas, right this very minute!
The gospels tell us that in order to get a little Christmas, we first need to get a little John the Baptist, a voice crying out in the wilderness telling people the God’s honest truth.
They tell us that “multitudes” went to hear the truth, even though they knew that sometimes the truth hurts. However, they instinctively knew that it was the truth that was going to set them free.
John preached something like: “You are not right. Some part of you needs to be cut off; something inside of you needs to be burned away.”
From his prolific sermon illustrations, “the fire, the ax, and chaff,” John was preaching that before something can be born anew, something rotten has to die. Before healing can take place, something sick has to be removed. As the “Me Too” movement has taught us in recent weeks, before something can be restored, someone needs to resign.
And as John preached with brutal honesty, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the first thing they saw was a little Christmas.
As we prepare this place of worship for Christmas, making a way for Christ, may we search our souls, asking what we must we do to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.
As we decorate this place with poinsettias, remembering the star that signaled love being born in a town called Bethlehem, may all indifference perish, may silence in the face of evil pass away, may all complacency be banished, as we stand up and speak out for the inclusive love of Christ to be born in right here in our town.
As we decorate this place with wreaths signifying the never-ending reign of Christ, may all despair and resignation die, as we resist to fight hate and persist to do justice in our world knowing that the love of God never ends.
As we decorate this place with mistletoe known throughout the world as the plant of peace, may the fear that divides us be removed, as we do what we can, where we can, however we can, to work for peace on earth.
As we decorate this place with holly and ivy, may all self-righteousness and spiritual pride and any feelings of superiority be cut off, as we cling to divine strength.
As we decorate this place with the fire of candles, may all prejudice be burnt away, as we light up our world with grace.
May our lights shine honestly, pointing out all of our failures and flaws, yet giving us the mercy to be better and do better.
May our lights shine so brightly that the eyes of all people are able to see a little Christmas.