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  • Tim Blodgett

Entering the Story

So what does all of this mean? We continue in Christmastide until Epiphany on January 6, but what was it all for? The months of planning and preparation for Advent and Christmas, the stress, joy, nostalgia, and celebration of Christmas Eve, and all of the singing, decorations, and Angel trees, why did we do it? We hardly need a reminder of Jesus Christ. We may need a reminder to act more like him, but we do not forget him. He is the center of everything we do and everything we believe. From birth to his life of ministry to death and resurrection, Jesus’ life unfolds for us continuously on Sunday mornings. And as much as I love the theological implications of the incarnation, I am not sure I need that reiterated

for me either. When I study the bible and think back over the slew of Christmas sermons or bible studies that shares that 1) we often conflate Matthew and Luke’s birth narratives, 2) that Mark does not have one at all, and 3) that the beginning of John’s gospel is almost otherworldly, I smile at our collective repetitiveness. It is vital to start back at the beginning, though, and we see why in the first encounters with Christ. Even before Christ’s birth, angels prepare his way and reorient the faith of his parents. I doubt the shepherds thought that they would encounter the Messiah, their Messiah, as they went out to protect their flocks that night. I am not sure that when the magi left to find the “King of the Jews” that they had any idea of the kind of king they would find. For all, their faith and life were transformed as they encountered Jesus. We celebrate Christmas and retell the Christmas narrative, not because we need a reminder or to dust off an easy, old sermon, but because this beginning of the story can be an entry point, a reentry point, or a reorienting point for our lives of faiths. We can encounter Christ anew. We can discover God in a new place. We can be pointed to the holy by the Holy Spirit in a different way than the last time through. The question is not, “What does all of this mean?” It is, “What does it mean for you now?”

Blessings, Rev. Tim Blodgett

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