Collect for the Sunday after Christmas:
Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us through your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so we may share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Reading: Luke 2.15-21
In all the excitement of the Baptism and new chairs etc I forgot to record my sermon this Sunday.
Here’s a summary of what I hoped to communicate:
4 people in the Gospel story today, Jospeh, Mary, Simeon and Anna. They each link to an action beginning with ‘W’ towards Jesus and this links to William who we just baptised, and to a challenge for each of us this New Year’s Eve.
Joseph – he is Watching faithfully, just as William has been watched by all who have seen him since he was born in the Summer. Our challenge is to Watch, and as we Watch to notice where God is working in our world, to recognise God with us, just as Joseph saw God with us i the form of Jesus.
Mary – she is Wondering hopefully about Jesus. I’m sure William has given rise to much wondering – what he might need when he cries, what he might become when he is older. Our challenge is to spend time in wonder at what life really means, what we’ve been created for, to wonder about the questions of life.
Simeon – he has been Waiting obediently for the messiah, the promised one to come. Much waiting has happened around William’s short life – waiting for him to be born, for the first tooth, then there’ll be the first word, the crawl, first steps and onwards. The challenge for us is to think about what we are waiting for, what God is asking us to wait for and then to turn our times of waiting in to times of listening and learning – positive times.
Anna – in our reading she is lovingly Worshipping as she senses the importance of this special baby from God. William is worshipped by all who see him and warm to his little emerging personality. Our challenge is to realise what it is that we worship, what has a hold on our hearts – wether it be possessions, money, status, other people, lifestyle. God doesn’t necessarily call us to leave this all behind, but to put it into a context where he is the centre of our loves and our lives, where we receive his love first and then work out how to be life and light to others.
A new year blessing:
May the faithful watching of Joseph, the hopeful wondering of Mary, the obedient waiting of Simeon, the loving worship of Anna and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas and new year; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.