The readings for Christmas, including this Mass are familiar readings that are being read throughout Churches within our Communion. Maybe we have recognized words or phrases from Handel’s “Messiah,” Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God.” Actually, Isaiah wrote these words when everything was going wrong for Judah and he spoke about someone to come who would set things right. These words from Isaiah became an anthem that the people would sing whenever a new king took the throne, a Jewish version of “Hail to the Chief.”
The people who walked in darkness have seen great light. For unto us a son is born. He will be wonderful counselor and a father forever. He will be a prince who brings peace. It became a song of hope, sung in dark world looking for a person of light. The trouble was that no king really fit that description.
Each year at Christmas we gather and sing the same hymns or songs. One of the attractions of Christmas is that we all know the music by heart and it evokes memories of many Christmases especially when we were young and God seemed to be so close to us. Maybe we feel we cannot go back to such a time because too much has happened.
The power of Christmas that catapults us into the New Year does not come from nostalgia but from the hope and knowledge that things can be different in our life because of the birth of this Child and the Man he became.
Some of us are in church today for all kinds of reasons. Some of us come every week and embrace Christmas with special fervor. Some of us come occasionally, some infrequently. Some are here with family and friends. The good news of this night is, as the angel says, “for all people.” Whoever you are, for whatever reason you are here, every one of us in this church has a journey to make over the next year. We appeal to you therefore, “let JESUS be your constant companion as you journey with us into the YEAR 2011.
We welcome all joining us for worship today. A special welcome if you are with us for the first time. We pray that the peace and joy of the Christ child may always be yours.
HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!!!