Sermon St. Mary Nanoose Bay

December 25, 2018 Christmas Day: John 1:1-14    

Loving God, open our eyes and ears to your arrival  in our hearts and world.              

The Word became flesh. God has arrived in our midst as a wee new born. How completely unexpected! God arrives and captures the hearts of everyone who sees him. It’s impossible to not fall in love with new born. After all, a newborn draws us into relationship… into intimacy. Into a love that willingly sacrifices. A love that binds us up together in this life. Through good times and hard times. And even when we are apart, we are connected. We are family.            

But this newborn we are talking about this morning, is special. Special in that this new born, Jesus, has come to change the world. By opening our hearts, by changing our hearts, and leading us into a life of love. A love that transcends death, all fear, all pain.             For in Jesus, God arrives to live among us, with us, for us. To show us that we are not alone, never have been, and never will be. He came to let us know, once and for all, that God’s love never ends or changes. God waits patiently yet longs to be in relationship with us.            

And we have the choice to how to respond. Love can never be forced. Love can never be demanded. Yet love is more than a feeling. Much more. Love is relationship; a give and take that flows and serves and delights. This love is what engaging in the divine life is all about.              

There are many natural laws to this divine life. We discover these laws:   through listening to Scripture – the various commandments that guide us in the ways of a good life and help us avoid disaster and suffering – through listening to the stories of others who have learned things the hard way, the saints and our friends and neighbours; and through our own experiences when we can be forgiving of ourselves and others.            

Little babies, little children have so much to teach us, if we are open.            

I learned about the divine law of magnetism through an incident with my older son. He was 3 years old. We were playing in the front yard when the phone rang. I ran to answer it. A minute or two later, I came outside and he was gone. You can imagine my panic when he didn’t answer my call. I looked everywhere and although it was less than 5 minutes, it felt like a lifetime before I found him between 2 parked cars, crouched down observing a small beetle. I yelled at him which startled him. He burst out crying and I yanked him by the arm, to drag him back to the house where I told him in very sharp words that he had done a bad thing by wandering away. His crying became more frantic. “Do you understand what you’ve done?!” I said harshly. He drew away from me. Which made me even angrier. Suddenly, I felt a tug on my heart. I became very very still. And I felt my heart open and something turn inside me. It was the most amazing thing. It was a felt sense of my hardened heart being softened and turning towards this very distraught child.  My arms reached out to him - “I frightened you, didn’t I?” He came and buried his head in my neck and slowly his crying stopped. “You scared me, Mama,” he said. The magnet in me was surging with love. “Oh Isaac,” I said, “I was scared I’d lost you, and then I scared you with my anger.”            

The magnetism that a tiny newborn or a child has on our hearts is a taste or glimpse into the love of God. God’s magnet is always inviting us near without pulling us against our will. Unlike our human hearts whose magnetic ability can falter, God’ s magnetic heart is steady and dependable.            

And the words God uses are grace and truth. Never blame, shame, judgment or punishment. God’s magnet is love and God’s word is truth.            

And in our daily relationships with each other, Jesus teaches, guides, leads and forgives as we learn to strength and stabilize our magnetic hearts.            

And with that magnetism, we have the power to become children of God, full of grace and truth.            

Could we be given a better gift!?            

This Christmas let the magnet that resides in your heart draw you close to the One who is love.