Homily for Lessons and Carols: John 1:1-14

Grace and peace to you from God Our Creator and from His Son, Jesus Christ Our Savior and Lord. Amen

How our souls suffer when we are scattered from existing, breathing, being in the warmth and healing Light of Our Creator God and plunged into an unknown, uncaring darkness. From the beginning of time, we as children of God have been afraid of the darkness whether metaphorically, physically or spiritually. There is nothing fulfilling or promising in the darkness because we are removed from wholeness and hope; we are removed from sacred relationships and connectedness from our fellow brothers and sisters and we are removed from knowledge and truth.

That same darkness seemingly enveloped an ancient people who could only exist hidden, shamed and fearful, condemned to live in the darkness of slavery by people who lived in that same darkness, away from the healing light of God; who refused to step out of the darkness to hear the Good News: that “All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being.”

But soon these African American slaves would stand at the crossroads between the darkness and the light as they gathered on a bleak and chilly New Year’s Eve, December 31st 1862. They gathered in crude slave churches, huts and cabins; they lifted their soft and strong voices in prayers and thanksgiving and waited, watched for midnight, January 1st 1863 when that darkness would be dispelled through the light of emancipation…

The Light of FREEDOM

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Can we imagine how these people of African descent on that very first Watch Night’s Eve emerged from their impoverished huts and cabins and viewed the brilliance of the night sky with new eyes? That darkness was pierced with millions of stars that perhaps they had never truly saw before; that the Light of God was shining down upon them and no matter where they would go, where their journey would lead them, that the Light of God continued to envelop them even as they would struggle as a people, as a Nation.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Perhaps we can imagine how brilliant the Light illuminated the darkness of that night when the Word became flesh and ushered into this world through His Life redemption and salvation; how did those ancient people see the skies before them for the first time as a redeemed people? Can we imagine being a witness as the darkness submitted to the powerful, blinding and beautiful light of God, Our Creator? That Hope was ushered into this world through Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son?

And that is the Good News, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Logos, the Living Word of God, Our Liberator invades the darkness of fear, of tribulation and of anger and brings Freedom, Jubilation, Exhalation into the Light and into our lives. That through Jesus Christ’s birth we have the strength to step out of the darkness and into the light filled with God’s love, mercy and grace. That however the darkness is shackling your spirit, when we come to the crossroads here at the Table we leave the pain, suffering behind us in that darkness and embrace the eternal life before us in God’s Light. Through Christ’s birth we are joined forever as children of God, to live and dance and be healed, whole in the light of God.

Strange how the little things remind you of the sacred things. I had received this Book of Common Prayer as a Christmas Gift and inside was a listing of important days and Watch Night, as it is known in the African American community is mentioned. Churches of African American descent celebrate this night with song and prayer, as they are reminded of the Goodness of God who brought them out of oppression and of the darkness. We too, joining with these our brothers and sisters in Christ and in Faith must continue to be watchful and vigilant for those lost children of God who are drowning in darkness, darkness of violence, of subjection, of oppression, of fear…

…. that they are ushered, greeted, birthed into the living eternal light of God Almighty.

Thanks Be To God.


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