Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Sermon: Sing this night, Rejoice by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all

          As a child my favorite part of Christmas was putting the Noah’s Ark animals on the Christmas tree to celebrate the birth of Christ
Let that sink in… Noah’s Ark / on Christmas.
Sort of a strange thing—putting figurines of penguins and lions and caribou on the Christmas tree, all hanging above the Nativity Set.

          Similarly, if you’ve seen the Christmas Movie “Love Actually” you’ll remember the surprising, non-traditional, manger scene in that film—with little British children dressed up as lobster, Spiderman, and an Octopus.

          Clearly there were no penguins surrounding the manger, no Octopi occupying the Shepherds’ field by night.
But, it does bring to mind a particular point—that all of creation celebrated the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, for he’s Savior of the Whole World.

          Think of Paul’s famous 8th chapter to the Romans—all of creation groans for the revealing of the sons and daughters of the living God—so too, one can not help but imagine, all of creation sings out with joy at the birth of the Son of God.
          And so, tonight, I just want us to think a little bit about the songs beating in the heart of all of creation that night our Dear Savior was born.
Let us pray,

Holy Family Sing this night, Rejoice by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all!
          Dear Joseph, rejoice and sing! Your inheritance,
the promise to your family,
the promise to the house of David,
the promises of God,
is sure and true!
          In this little child is a ruler who is totally unlike any before or since
—one who in the weakness of the flesh is “Wonderful Counselor”
—An infant whom we may call “Everlasting Father.”
          Dearest Mary, sing again! Sing that beautiful song
—give us a tune with which we might ponder your son this season, and treasure him in our hearts.
          Tell us how his deeds will glorify God,
—how his justice, always unsettles and unseats us still
—how his mercy frees,
and brings life to the dead.

Shepherds and Angels Sing this night, Rejoice by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all!
          Sing shepherds, sing of the heavy, heavenly, wholeness
the very presence of God, aflame in that field,
how it surrounded you
—God’s glory, God With Us
          Announce you angel—calm our terrified souls, bent before the awful power of Holiness.
“Fear not, here is the Gospel for everyone:
Born today
for you a Savior,
for you the Messiah,
for you the Lord
—a sign, for you O’ people “A child is born.”
          Sing Honor Guard of Angels, sing of the strange new thing God is doing
—accent this moment
—how it honors God,
how it brings peace on earth.
*        Sing so softly, shepherd band
—a joyous gentle song to the Holy Family
—tell them what God is doing
—tell them God has invaded
— Invaded softly,
in this meager Manger baby.

You powerful, you powerless, Sing this night, Rejoice by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all!
          Sing with one last gasp of pomp, you emperors, you governors.
Call up your subjects and servants
—serenade them with registration
—registration for war,
registration for taxes,
for profit,
for control.
          Sing sorrow songs, you
—who passed by Christ in the womb of the tired mother
—who gave no room to the traveling weary family
sing sorrow.
          Sing all you people, deep in darkness,
you are the beloved of God
—His light will make your darkness bright.
          Sing a freedom song, O’ people
—born is the King.
Born is the One Who Upholds Righteousness,
who holds your hurts to account and cares for you,
Born the one who sets you free.

All of Creation, Sing this night, Rejoice by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all!
          Sing out field where angels trod,
Cattle, lambs, sheep and goats, mice and all you creatures,
sing about the birth of the Son of God!
          O’ Trees clap your hands to keep the beat,
join in the song you predators and wild things,
howl and purr and stomp your paws!
          Sing a duet O’ Heavens O’ Earth,
may we say of the sky line it shows that
in him Mercy and Truth have met,
in him Righteousness and Peace kiss one another.
          Let the Wave’s rage and the Thunder’s burst tell to eternity the Savior’s Birth!

Dear Church, Sing this night Rejoice, by candle light, He is bringing salvation to all!
          Sing for God’s promises are true,
he’s born
—here among us,
Humble and unnoticed,
just and merciful!
          Sing that God’s overwhelming presence,
good news,
… terrifying,
is with us,
worship Christ dear people!
          Sing confessions too,
confess where you missed him
—he’ll sing back,
leading the way,
that we might follow him.
          Sing with all of creation—praise the Savior of the World.