Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Message

In the business of Christmas, have you seen God with you?
in the hectic, frantic pace of the days, have you seen God in the world?
I have. and as I said on Sunday, I’ve seen God working in you.
. . .
Christmas is certainly a time to take stock - to seek ‘peace on earth’ - and the well-being of all people. Sometimes it isn’t easy to see. 
It is God’s work to make peace, but we can help. 
We are of greatest help to God’s work by living the wonderful humanity we were given, the gift of OUR birth.
AND paying attention to all the signs God leaves in our path, 
so we won’t miss the Divine at work in the human world.

William Stringfellow wrote these words about living humanly;
“Discerning signs has to do with comprehending the remarkable in common happenings, with perceiving the saga of salvation within an era of [broken-ness] It has to do with the ability to interpret ordinary events in both apocalyptic and eschatological ways.
to see portents of death where others find progress & success but, simultaneously, to behold tokens. . .

of hope where others are consigned to confusion or despair. 

Discerning signs does not seek spectacular proofs or await the miraculous, but rather, it means sensitivity to the Word of God indwelling in all Creation and transfiguring common history, while remain radically realistic about death’s vitality in all that happens…”
(can we do this?, do we?)
he goes on to say,
“In the face of death, live humanly. 
 In the middle of chaos, celebrate the Word [made flesh].

Amidst Babel, SPEAK THE TRUTH! [that’s speak the truth to power when you live in this city]
Confront the noise and verbiage and falsehood of death with the 
truth and potency and efficacy of the Word of God. Know the Word, teach the Word, nurture the Word, preach the Word, defend the Word, incarnate the Word, do the Word, live the Word.

And more than that, in the word of God, expose death and all death’s works and wiles, rebuke lies, cast out demons, exorcise, cleanse the possessed, raise those who are dead in mind and conscience.”

and when we are about the work of doing all this…and have no doubt that we are!… then, we are working alongside the word made flesh, knowing that now and always, EMMANUEL, God IS with us!

William Stringfellow, An Ethic for Christians and other Aliens in a Strange Land (Waco, Tex.:Word Books, 1973), pp 138-39, 142-43. quoted in Ward and Wild Resources for Preaching and Worship Yr B (Louis:WJK,2002)28

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