Southern Heights Presbyterian Church

5750 South 40th Street - Lincoln, NE - 402-421-3704 Worship Sundays at 10:30

A loving and welcoming faith community located at 40th and Old Cheney Road in South Lincoln, Nebraska, Southern Heights Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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We Come, and then We Go...A Christmas Reflection

Each Christmas, we gather together to hear the story...each for our own reasons, each hearing what God is speaking to us through those words. 

For Christmas Eve, Pastor Leanne reflected on why it is that we come together on Christmas Eve...and what we do when we leave the sanctuary.


We Come...and then We Go
Christmas Eve, 2013
Rev. Leanne Masters
Southern Heights Presbyterian Church

 

It’s dark. It’s cold. And it’s a little slick out there in places.
Some of us have to get up early in the morning, whether it’s because little feet will be itching to get to the Christmas Tree to see what was left under it overnight, or because there are hours of driving or cooking to be done before Christmas dinner can be had.
Some of us have traveled a long way, battling snow and ice and unnamed and unnumbered other difficulties or obstacles along the way.
Some of us have fought our own personal battles to just get here, such as loneliness and sadness that is exacerbated by the festivities of the season.
Most of us are tired and looking forward to even just one day off.

And yet, here we are. Late in the evening, deep in the heart of winter, coming together to worship.

Each year, we find ourselves drawn to gather together on the evening before Christmas Day, to join in prayer and song. To reflect on the story that is being told here this evening.
The story of God’s great creation, and how we fell from grace.
The story of God’s promise to God’s people throughout time, that we would not be forgotten or forsaken, but that God would be with us.
The story of how God chose to fulfill that promise, through the birth of the most unlikely Messiah, a baby boy born to a young, unwed mother and the carpenter who vowed to raise him as his own.
The story of how God with Us, Emmanuel, chose to live into that promise...through his life and his teachings and his witness, culminating in his dying and rising so that, in the words of our communion liturgy, we might be dead to sin and alive to all that is good.

We come to hear this story, and remember how God chooses to continue to fulfill that promise, by promising that God’s light remains with us, and how the darkness of the world shall not overcome it.

We come.

We come as family, huddled around a newborn child, thankful for the gift that God has given us, and rejoicing in the hope that that child presents us with.
We come as innkeepers, humbled and penitent for the times that we recognize that we have turned Christ away from our lives through our actions and our words.
We come as shepherds, curious and awed, seeking that light in the darkness that proclaims that God is doing something amazing for us and, ultimately, in us.
We come as wise women and men and children, because we have learned so much about this child already, and yet we crave to know and understand more and more deeply than before.

We come.

We come as choirs of angels, proclaiming through word and through song that God’s promise to the world was, is and shall be fulfilled to all of creation, crying out with our hearts and our lives that Christ the Savior is born!

We Come.

And then, we go.

We go out in the world, sustained and emboldened by what we have heard and what we have been reminded of this evening...
We go out as family, seeking to nurture and build each other up in faith, hope, love and peace.
We go out as innkeepers, seeking to live welcoming Christ into our lives...living as we have been called to be and to do in this world.
We go out as shepherds, changed forever by what we have witnessed, and proclaiming the good news that we have been shown.
We go out as wisemen, to continue to learn and to grow and to be strengthened in faith and in knowledge.

And we go out, as choirs of angels, forever singing praises to God for all that God is doing in the world.

Sisters and Brothers, as we come to hear the story, may you be blessed by the love that it speaks of. May the story that God gives us give you peace and bring you joy.
And may the story of Emmanuel, God’s fulfillment of a promise to be with us, dwell deeply in us, so that we may go out into the world to share it and to show it and to live it, this and every day.

 

“He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8 CEB