The First Sunday of Christmas
The Very Reverend Steve Lipscomb, Dean
John 1:1-18

 


Today is the First Sunday after Christmas. This is not a day for a sermon, I don’t think. Today, at Grace Cathedral, at the 10:30 service, we’re doing our usual Sunday after Christmas pageant.

But there is another reason why a sermon, to me, seems out of place today (even at a different service, at this service). And in case you haven’t noticed yet, this is a sermon on why there is no sermon.

The reason there is no need for a sermon today is because we simply need to linger in Christmas for a while with that story we heard on Christmas Eve, in that stable where the Christ child lies, and is suckled at the breast of Mary, and grows strong enough to live and thrive in his new environment outside the womb.

He may be God, but he is a baby too, you know, brand new. And it takes a while for mother and child to recuperate from the trauma of birth, and birthing. It takes a while for the baby Jesus to get his “earth suit” adjusted, for Mary to regain her strength, for the two of them to get ready for the journey (quite the journey) that lies ahead of them.

So let’s give them a little more time. Let’s give ourselves a little more time to take in the meaning of Christmas. John’s Christological statement about the Word becoming flesh is important for us to hear and ponder, …but the birth of this little baby is a mystery and miracle that we don’t want to miss or move past too quickly.

While the rest of the world began its Christmas season a month ago, or two, we waited through the season of Advent to get here. And now, as the world packs Christmas away to make room for the new spring lines and the Easter Bunny, we wait again, to take in the wonder of Christmas and its 12-day season.

Madison Avenue’s calendar says Christmas is over, move on. The Church’s calendar says wait. Be still. Behold the child, Jesus. Emmanuel. For Christmas has just begun. We have a week to go.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and lived among us. That is all true. But that the Word became flesh in a baby, in a stable in Bethlehem, that is the true miracle of Christmas.

May we, like Mary, and for just a little while longer, treasure and ponder these things in our hearts.

And in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.