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Long time ago in Bethlehem,
so the holy Bible say,
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Mary's boy child Jesus Christ
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was born on Christmas day.
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Hark, now hear the angels sing, the new king born today.
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And we shall live for evermore because of Christmas day!
Today is the day we celebrate Christmas - the birth of Jesus. Not that Jesus was born on December the 25, but that he was born at all. This is the day we acknowledge that we worship a God who is willing to come down to earth, to enter into his own creation, and to be a part of the messy-ness of life.
One priest in New York City noted one year that a Christmas tree had already been thrown out at 9:30 on Christmas morning. He saw that as being symbolic of our world today. “Well, that’s over and done with so now we can get on with our lives until next year.” But that’s not the message of Christmas for those of us who believe in something bigger than peace, goodwill and gifts.
Jesus Christ is God incarnate - It is more than a God who sent his son to redeem creation – we have a God who was willing to become flesh and to enter into his own creation – to experience what we experience – to love and to laugh and to cry – to be alive to the world.
We must always remember that Christmas is just the beginning – the start of something new. It is about letting the seed that has been planted in our heart come to light and grow in the love of God. It is about taking the responsibility to water it and help it grow. It is about letting that light shine forth to overcome the darkness and to be a beacon for others who are in need of finding meaning in their lives. And it is about a God who loved us so much that he dared to come down from his throne on high to reside with us and to redeem us and to open the way to heaven for us. This is the one we call Jesus, and this is why we celebrate his birth.
Before the birth of Jesus, the Israelites thought they knew what God was like - but it is through Jesus that we get the most accurate picture into the nature of our God. Jesus is God incarnate - God made flesh. Jesus was a man who laughed and cried, who loved and who got angry. Jesus was a man who taught and who was willing to learn from those he taught. It is through Jesus Christ that God learned what it meant to be human. And it is through Jesus Christ that men and women gained the right to become the sons and daughters of our God.
For all the hurt and pain that we have caused God by the things that we have done - or left undone, all the things humankind has done throughout the years - God loves us so much that he was still willing to send his own son into the sinful world - to redeem us, to love us, to give us hope for a better existence - one that includes the presence of God for eternity.
For these reasons and so many more, we remember, and we give thanks. This is why we are here today; this is why we celebrate Christmas; to remember and to give thanks for the love God has poured out on us in a little baby.0