Rev. Bob Wickizer
Micah 5:2-4; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-49
24 December 2000
Only once in a great while do we find the fourth Sunday in Advent falling on the day of Christmas Eve. Why not just make the whole day Christmas Eve services you ask? To understand this, we must dive into a bit of church trivia. Following the practice of our first century Jewish predecessors, Christians have always considered that our "day" begins officially at sundown. This is why Roman Catholics and Episcopalians can take communion on Saturday night and that counts as a "Sunday" service. Using the idea that the day begins at sundown, Christmas Day really begins at sundown on Christmas Eve. This morning however, we continue to celebrate the fourth Sunday in Advent because we have "Not Yet" landed on Christmas Day.
Advent is a time of waiting not just for the birth of the Christ child, but it is also a time reminding us that Christ will come again in glory to judge us. The idea of living with one foot in one world while the hoped for and much anticipated event has not yet happened permeates all of Christian living. We live in this world doing our best, giving of ourselves to others, praying for people we do not know, trying with the grace of God to make a positive difference in this world, yet we hope that there is a heaven. We hope for God's judgment on our lives at the end that will be merciful and forgiving of all we have failed to be and do. We hope for the Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. Like many children with anxious anticipation this morning, we Christians live in this world while waiting hopefully for the best to come.
But even as we speak in a corner of the world far away that once honored us with the birth of the Christ Child, Christian homes with women and children sleeping in them are being bulldozed. Christian villages including the little town of Bethlehem are being shelled with heavy artillery. To clarify what Ch ...
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