Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Carol Service 2009

Our Carol Service took place on 20th December amid cold weather, snow and black ice. The congregation was depleted almost by half ... so I chose to preach about SNOW.

The Word became flesh, and dwelt amongst us. (John 1:14)

What is it about snow?
Yes we complain about the cold and the incovenience, the slow traffic and the black ice. For a couple of days each year schools close, roads lock and routes are blocked as we cope with the seasonal snowfall. But we love it!
As children we loved the snowmen and the snowballs. We seized the opportunity, the brief opportunity to build with snow and coal and carrots, and to fight and freeze our temporary enemies. And as adults we admire the magical dusting which having miraculously descended from the sky gives a silver moonlit shimmer to the night-time trees and in daylight dazzles our sight.
Oh yes we complain about the cold and the incovenience, the slow traffic and the black ice. Yet we buy Christmas cards with snow-laden branches and red-breasted robins, we admire landscapes swept in white, and familiar buildings transformed into beauty by ice-sugar dusting of snow.
And what is it? What is it? Nothing but water, water which we find everywhere, water we drink, water we wash with, water that feeds our crops and cleans our cars.
Yet here is the magic and the wonder. Water, which is the foundation of life, Water, which is all around, Water which is never far from our finger tips, is hard to grasp. It runs through our fingers and tumbles off our roofs. It is sucked into drains and evaporates into the air.
Yet when it snows, the precious resource suddenly - yet briefly - is made solid. For a moment we can touch it, mould it, grab it, throw it. We can build with it. It makes ordinary scenes beautiful and beautiful scenes stunning: and yet it was always there.
In the words of St John we just heard, we are told ‘The Word because flesh’: the Word, through whom all things were made; the Word, who was there from the very beginning, the Word always there yet never quite visible or within our grasp, that Word becomes solid, He is seen in all his reality, He  comes to live amongst u
That is what we celebrate - the coming to earth of the maker of the earth, the dwelling amongst us of the one who was always amongst us. The crystallising of truth in a human being.
And we beheld his glory: not the glory of a King, not the glory or riches, but the glory of a truth which was always present, the making visible of a love which we always knew.
Come, let us adore him!
Christ the Lord!

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