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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Meditation

My pastor gave the homily at the Christmas Eve service at First United Methodist Church, Saint Petersburg. Sometimes you simply must acknowledge the excellent workmanship of another. Pastor David Miller speaks without notes—often quoting Scripture and relating complex narratives with dates and unusual names. And he does all this with the simple grace of a master. Tonight (and he is certainly no slave to “three points”) his message had three elements:

  1. How God works—God works through the unusual and unexpected.
  2. God guides those who seek him (one notable way by Scripture).
  3. Belief and worship must be accompanied by application (for if Christmas is not applied within life, it is over December 26th).

We celebrated communion tonight and closed with a candle-lighting service. I got to thinking, for those outside Christianity “looking in”, the religion must seem strange indeed. Christians worship someone born in a stable among cattle and bedded in a “container...from which cattle or horses feed” WordWeb Pro's definition of “manger”). Then we have communion in which we symbolically imbibe the body and blood of the one who was crucified by the law-abiding and upstanding people of the land and these selfsame good people found the one we worship detestable and worse than a criminal. And somehow despite all this following him we fancy that we can bring light to the world. What the dickens? And the coup de grace is that our Savior tells us to expect similar persecution if we seek simple kindness. Go figure!

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