This was our children’s program, so the order is slightly different. It was also slightly different for us this year. Each year who you have changes, so you work around that. This year we had a bunch of late elementary. So less dress up, also less absolute perfection, but still perfect in its way. Part of the riotous glory of the creation my meditation speaks about the Christ child coming to save. He made it good, and came to live with us. Announced by Angels, to shepherds and sages. Proclaimed by silly preachers and humble children. Come and Worship, Christ, the newborn king.
My Christmas Day sermons are a little more contemplative. This one is from the texts of the day, primarily Isaiah 52:7-10 and John 1:1-14, but it also leans heavily on the hymn A Great and Mighty Wonder – LSB 383. It is a contemplation of the Holy set against the normal wisdom of the middle way. Merry Christmas
The recording is our Children’s Christmas Pageant. There is a short homily by me at the start and then the kids you see in the photos take over and renew the story of the Son given to us. Their bother, Immanuel.
This sermon looks at the appointed epistle readings of the Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Each ponders in their heart the meaning of Christmas from a slightly different perspective: mystic, personal and kingly. It really is a riff of of my favorite Christmas Hymn: A Great and Mighty Wonder.
That is the picture of the cast for our Christmas Pageant. We give the kids the full service on this day. So, the recording is not our typical sermon but our best recording of the play. The kids acted out and explain to us the Hymn Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Molly Hemingway (and several others) on the horror of not having Santa growing up. I’m with Ms. Hemingway, Santa was always such a minor trifle I can’t stir up the emotional energy to care. If my child asks, I answer “what do you think?” Ethan (4) just says of course. Anna (10) doesn’t want Santa believer Ellen’s presents to stop. And then I typically ask something like “what is the main purpose of Santa?” Which as the older they get the more it becomes about the naughty and nice list. I have to confess using on David the Santa Scanner, an iPod app that determines which list you are on (controlled nicely by where you press the button and how clean the room is). But my goal is then to ask, “is that what you hear in Sunday School about Christmas?” And the answer is no. I don’t necessarily want to teach them morality although the 10 commandment are a good start. What I want to teach them is God’s grace. We make up things like Santa, but they are only non-toxic when handled with grace. When I give the Santa Scanner to David to scan me and it puts Daddy on the naughty list.