Eric's Sunday Sermon; What Child Is This? Christmas
From the smallest seed a large tree grows tall.
What child is this?
Let us cut right to the chase. Jesus Christ was born sometime around two thousand years ago. The exact date was not recorded as to be of use to us today. Folks can argue about it. So through some craziness we decided on December 25 to celebrate his birth. Fine, get over any doubts and accept that that is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Next we dismiss any claims that the history of Jesus Christ is fabricated. All history has gaps. All history as told by different folks is different in certain regards. Exactness in history is like cooking without feeling. Motivations, rights and wrongs of the time, relationships all muddy the water of history. Of course it is no different with the story of Jesus Christ. But what most accept is that Jesus Christ walked the earth in what is now Israel.
Then there is the belief in Jesus Christ. There are great varying schisms in our world between sects of religions and between religions as a whole. Indeed they divide whole countries and full cultures. Most middle easterners and most westerners believe that Jesus Christ existed. The divide comes with just who He was. Prophet? Just a man? Son of God? Great healer and no more? Brilliant Rabbi and no more? Carpenter or fisherman?
Generally there are no great schisms within Christianity regarding whether or not Jesus Christ was the son of God. Believe it or not there are some Christians that do not believe exactly the same way as others. Not to worry there are many other issues that different sects of Christians can argue about.
What a great song.
Yikes -- What child is this?
Just who do we celebrate?
So what child is this we celebrate on Christmas? Perhaps there are as many versions as there are folks who celebrate Christmas. Personally I know of no one who can get inside my head and heart and see Christ exactly as I do. And even if they could that would just be a part of how someone else viewed Jesus Christ. Did you know that you do not have to believe in the concept of the trinity to be Christian? You could have your own view that is different. You can get parts of the trinity from the Bible but not really a complete picture as it is somewhat man made to explain God made. Personally again, I like the thought of it being a Holy Mystery regarding how there is the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and God, different yet the same. Great stuff to ponder as I ponder with my fishing pole, without bait, on the side of a wonderful body of water. Baiting the hook might catch a fish which would interfere with my deep contemplation. Kind of like harshing my chill.
But we dare say that for each Christian it is different which child we celebrate, yet it is the same. One of those mysteries again but not too farfetched. I was youngest of six children. My mom loved us all. But at her death as we shared our experiences it became clear that she loved us differently. And how much more so must it be for Jesus Christ. He must love us differently in order to really love us as us. And just as with mom, that different love gives us a different view of Jesus Christ.
I got you! You thought that this article was going to tell you just exactly who this child is. Oh you may be interested in my point of view and my belief, but me telling you what you are to believe would be a good bit of insanity. I believe in Sunday through Saturday as being the week. I am in keeping with the calendar. But you may really believe that the week is Monday through Sunday. Fair enough. If you work hard for a living Monday through Friday and then have a week”end” I can see your point. Perhaps you can understand that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The child is now a man to me. What child “was” this, I cannot tell you. But I can tell you what he grew into for me. He is frozen in time to me as the thirtyish Messiah. If he was under thirty I would not trust him so much, just like twenty somethings do not trust me in my advanced age. I am kind of kidding there but hopefully you see the point that I make Jesus Christ into what I want to perceive. Being a father and learning so much from my children I am sure I could think of Christ as he was as a child and still love him and learn from him.
A King is born this day. Can you imagine a time when I actually performed in this play for a public School!!??
We are well founded in our own beliefs, as long as we have some.
Let us take solace.
What child is this? I honestly can say that I have never had an adult birthday party where my baby pictures were paraded and shared. I would like to think that celebrations along that line celebrate my life to date, and only a small part of that was my birth and next couple of years. We don’t really celebrate our birth on birthdays but rather our continued life. But not so with Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birth. Interesting isn’t it? And what does that tell us about His birth. That being that we celebrate His entry into the world. If you follow me here, there are billions of believers that Christ was miraculously conceived with his father being God. You say “what do you mean billions?” And I tell you that if one believes in the eternal nature of the soul all who have passed from this world are still counted. So that would mean that billions of people are wrong if Christ was not immaculately conceived and born. Yes, mathematically that could happen but I strongly doubt it. Probably a better bet to believe it. So this child is miraculous at birth and we celebrate that. That is the kind of child He is. We have Easter to celebrate other potions of His life.
Well we are close to the end of this sermon. Let us wrap it up with a thought about who Jesus Christ is to you. It is after all a “to you” kind of deal. Christ at Christmas is yours. We cannot install a photo processor in your mind and give you our picture of Christ at Christmas. That is your deal. And it is a special deal to you. We hope that you revel in it and find yourself at peace. Perhaps there are some things that we can agree on, like we can agree with any birth of a child. At birth the world is open. A child can be whatever the child wants to be because the life is ahead of them. And in our spectator state of the birth a special new hope arises, as with any child. And this child is special. And so it is that the hope is special.
Maybe, just maybe while the birth is special to each in its own way, it is somewhat the same for all of us. This special day of remembrance of the birth is also the birth of a new hope and a renewed sense of wellness for all of us. Shortly after the New Year will begin and we will all have renewed secular views of the new year. We hope that you will let this child be there to carry over and help you to begin anew with the extreme hope of a better you and world.