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The Christmas Stories

December 11, 2018

The basic Christian tenet is that after the death of the man, Jesus of Nazareth, his disciples and then others experienced The Christ – an aspect of the Mystery that we call God – within  and among themselves.  And it’ been happening ever since, again and again.  This is what we celebrate in the liturgy of the Eucharist or Communion. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.

As Dawn Hutchings describes in a recent sermon, “These are celebrations of the mystery that the spiritual and material coexist, celebrations of the incarnation of The Christ, the incarnation of the LOVE that we call God. who is not some person in the sky, but rather the incarnation of the Reality that lies at the very heart of all that IS. The incarnation of LOVE that the nativity parables point to, and that the Eucharist celebration points to, is the same LOVE that was encountered in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. It was this experience of the person Jesus that even death could not rob them of.

“That is why the Christmas story has become such an important parable in our annual celebrations of life. Everything about the nativity parables points us to the reality of the spiritual in the everyday stuff of life. In the simple birth of a child, in the poverty of a people, in the struggle to be free, in our quest to love and to be LOVE in the world, it is here in us that Christ takes on flesh and dwells among us. Wherever we are connected in right relationship, you might say, wherever we are “in love” there is the Christ, the body of God, the essence of life itself. Life is so much bigger than mere words can express.

“The Reality that lies at the very heart of existence is so much bigger than we have words, images, or parables to contain. Not even Jesus of Nazareth can contain all that the Christ IS. To celebrate the Christ is to celebrate the LOVE that is born over and over again. It is to recognize the intimate connection between the spiritual and the material and to marvel at the Reality that holds it all together. To celebrate the Christ at Christmas is to open ourselves to the wisdom of the ages and dare to explore the wonders that we are discovering each and every day.

“So in the darkness of winter, we await the coming, the advent, of the ONE who is LOVE. To warm our darkness, we tell stories about way back when. Advent is also a time to take in the wonders of the MYSTERY that IS, and to look forward to ALL that is to come.”

“So when we tell the old, old stories, let us never forget that there is so very much more to know, to be and to do. But for now, let the feasting begin as we celebrate that Christ is born again and dwells among us and that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow after that, LOVE will be born again and again and again.”

[Rev. Dawn Hutchings is Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Newmarket (Toronto), Ontario, Canada. Above is an excerpt from her sermon of December 9, 2018.    In her blog,, she is a significant new voice for Christianity in the 21st Century]

Loren Bullock
December 12, 2018

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