#BeChristinChristmas-4th Sunday of Advent

The end of the year,

Usually is a culmination of Holy festivals

Throughout our global neighborhood

Some which we are familiar

Hanukkah

And

Kwanzaa

And some which perhaps,

We are not familiar

Winter Solstice

And

Bodhi Day,

(pause)

As followers of Christ,

Celebrating both Advent

And

Christmas,

We are called to remember what is important

In this Holy season,

We are called to keep the meaning of Christ’s Holy

And mysterious Birth

In everything that we are immersed in

(pause)

But some of our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ,

Think this only amounts to,

Complaining and protesting viciously,

About the fact that Starbucks didn’t put

“Merry Christmas”

On their red holiday cups

Or griping when many retail workers,

Say “Happy Holidays”

And that we are not more demanding,

That everyone should say

“Merry Christmas”

Regardless of who they are

(pause)

What does it mean, truly

To Keep the Christ

In Christmas?

(pause)

Perhaps

The definition needs to be confessed

And proclaimed

Is that the only way to keep Christ in Christmas,

Is by keeping CHRIST

IN US.

(pause)

Keeping Christ

In Christmas

Means,

Showing someone kindness

Through random acts,

With no reward received back.

(Tell the story, simple about how Arif and a number of his friends had piled into the doorway after school on Friday, with plans to see Rogue One. Now, the young boy, my neighbor’s son had gotten permission to go from his mother but as she was at work at 3pm in the afternoon, he didn’t know how he would be able to pay for his ticket. This is where motherhood becomes universal, as I told Jared that I would make sure, he could get a ticket to join his friends for an afternoon of fun).

What story can you relate in your journey,

Where someone showed you kindness,

Especially in this holiday season,

Where stress is always a factor

Or maybe

It was YOU

Who brought joy and hope to someone’s life

That reminder

They were not alone.

(pause)

Showing someone kindness means too,

Opening up our sacred spaces

Where we live,

Where we worship

To those who have nothing,

Especially when others in power

Immersed in greed

Decide that those on the outskirts,

The outcasts

That their humanity

Means nothing.

Are we willing

To exude Christ’s grace?

(pause)

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Means,

Embracing those on the margins-

The undocumented

The refugee

Those who are fleeing a life of terror

Of Emptiness

Of certain Death

Simply so that they can take a full breath

Simply so that they can experience laughter

And freedom

And its funny,

We, as a people in this nation

Are so enraged about the issue of the undocumented,

Right?

We see them as a threat!

They come into our communities

Crowding our space

Coming from unknown places,

That unknown factor

We don’t know anything about them

Their families

Their lineage

Their history

(pause)

Interesting,

Sounds like Joseph and Mary

(pause)

Jesus’s parents,

And we are so quick to forget this,

Jesus’s parents

Were UNDOCUMENTED

Were fleeing Herod and his wrath,

His unjust laws

His persecution of their people!

We are so quick to lift up and adore and admire

Joseph and Mary,

We set out nativity scenes

And yet,

We turn our backs upon those refugees

Which by the way,

Come from the same peoples

We persecute today,

Fleeing oppressive regimes

Fleeing situations

That they themselves cannot be responsible for

Facing soldiers

Weaponry

Bent on oppressive destruction

Intrusion in those people’s homes,

Where they are vulnerable

Fragile.

We turn our backs upon them,

And the stress

The tragedy

The burdens that they carry,

Both physically

And emotionally

(pause)

Joseph was carrying such a burden.

Besides being born into

And shouldering poverty,

And making do,

Joseph, a righteous man,

Had to deal with the fact

That his bride to be,

Was ALREADY PREGNANT!

How would he keep up appearances?

Should he adhere to the law?

Which offered no grace

No reprieve

No forgiveness

Should he remain with her,

To be shamed possibly

By his community?

(pause)

We are so quick,

To lift up Mary and Joseph,

These devoted parents

Of the One,

Whose Birth

Has the power

To

TRANSFORM

Our

Reality,

Bringing in

Ushering in

A new horizon,

A new Kingdom

A new HOPE

(pause)

But we forget,

That Mary and Joseph

Were

TEENAGERS,

And yet,

We as humanity,

As people of faith even, sometimes

We condemn our young teenage mothers

And fathers

Labeling them only with their sin,

Forgetting we are all imperfect,

Instead of embracing them with our wisdom,

Our knowledge

And being present to guide

Mentor

Advise

Advocate

So that these children that they bear,

Grow up to be healthy,

Safe

Loved.

Just as Jesus Christ’s life was sacred,

So should every child’s life be as such,

Regardless to their beginnings.

(pause)

We forget,

That when we turn away

The undocumented,

Who are fleeing violence

The refugees

Who are fleeing war

The unexperienced

Who yes, make immature choices

We are in essence,

Turning away Joseph and Mary,

Rejecting God

Because see,

Because of this Birth,

Jesus Christ was born,

So that ALL would be deemed EQUAL

Because ALL were already LOVED

By the Creator God

(pause)

Keeping the Christ in Christmas,

Means

Sharing Good News

To a weary people.

Jesus’s name means

God Saves!

The angel who came before Joseph,

Shared with him Good News

In a time where he needed to hear it

In a moment when he was uncertain

But the angel proclaimed

that Mary,

“Shall bear a son,

And you are to name Him Jesus,

For He will save His people

From their sins.”

Emmanuel,

God is with US!

(pause)

Creator God,

Did not breathe sacred and holy LIFE

Within us

For us

To Disregard,

Disavow

One another.

Just as Joseph,

Claimed something precious

That was not his own,

We should claim

Adopt

Embrace

One another

Even if we are not the same

The same Blood

Culture

Tribe

Language

It is because of Jesus Christ,

The One whose Birth we await

The One to come

(pause)

Being Christ in Christmas

Means BREATHING LIFE

Into something once thought dead

Discarded

Useless

Worthless

A ministry,

An idea

A project

A neighbor

A relationship

A FIGHT

Towards

Righteousness

Truth

And

Justice

Thanks Be to God

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s