First of all
Welcome everyone to HT when I come in here at mass & look around
I tempted to think it all about me! It's the craziest thought!
Christmas crèche gaze at Face of Jesus I see God's great mercy, a God who created this universe, who became one with us. Who entered into our lives in most intimate way, so we could be reminded of God’s life within us. A God who created us! A God who gave us existence. A god who is in our DNA. It is this God who is forgiving, loving, merciful. Who cares only about good. God doesn’t love us because we are good, God loves us because God is good. My prayer is that we see and experience that in this infant child tonight. The divine entering into matter, into Humanity. That’s us here and now.
That is what we are celebrating and that’s blessing that I hope you are overwhelmed with on this night. The night we call Christmas Eve.
Sisters and brothers we come from a variety of different places, backgrounds, circumstances of life. We are all on a journey of faith, You & I. we are at different places in this journey. Because of our age, circumstances, we are a mixture good/evil, saints/sinners. Actually it is here at Holy Trinity we specialize in assisting each other on this faith journey, by God's grace. So weather you gather once a year or every single day, what matters is that your here, you are welcome here and we love you. If you ever find a need for event in your life's journey, just like tonight you will be always welcomed here!
Tell you a Story about Christmas giving and then at end a song, O Holy Night!
You probably remember more song what I'm about to say.
Most of you know my full time vocation besides a Husband, father, deacon, is providing spiritual care to hospice patients and their families.
A couple of weeks ago some generous company gave our hospice 4 Christmas trees with all the decorations. We were told to find them a home. I thought for a while and knew the perfect patient. Here name is Kathryn, (not really) she is 77 years old, and her health is deteriorating rapidly. She grew up with nine sisters and brothers on a farm that her parents rented. They worked on the farm day and night. Having very little income most everything was hand me downs. They hardly ever celebrated holidays except Christmas. The only present they ever got was a large basket of fruit that they grew to dearly love because even sometimes that never came, as their father drank the money away. She was always thankful for whatever they had. She got married at a young age and began a family of her own but they too never had much in the way of finances and after 20 years her husband died suddenly. She now is living with a significant other. In her 77 years of live she never had a Christmas tree it wasn’t in the cards and not a priority. She lives a simple spiritual life that I had come to honor as I got to know her.
So the next time I visited her I asked if she was putting up a Christmas tree this year. OH No we don’t have one but we do buy some things for our family this time of year. We dropped the subject and went on with our visit. At the end of my visit I prayed for her and her family. Then she asked if she could pray for me and my family. She had the most perfect prayer as it was one that just pulls at your heart strings. I left and was driving down the road thinking how blessed I was for her prayer for me. I then remembered that I forgot to ask her about the Christmas tree. So I called her and asked her if she would like to have a Christmas tree this year. She said, “O no just give it to someone who needs it more than us, we are fine.” I said, “I did look around and this tree is for you, it has your name on it.” There was silence. Then a different tone of voice, “I can’t do that.” I said’ “O yes you can we will bring it over this week and help you set it up. Silence! “I have never had someone be this nice to me!” she said with a crackle in her voice.
Three days later I called her up and said the nurse and I were coming over with the tree and decorations to help them set it up. As we arrived and brought the things inside I noticed right off she had cleared out a corner of her living room for the tree.
We began to assemble the tree all the while she was sitting in her recliner with a chuckling laughter to hid her tears of joy. We got the tree together and sat the box of decorations on her lap and she removed each one and told us what the ornaments were and shared how beautiful each one was. The decorations where of all types of dogs as the tree had a dog theme to it. A dog house in front of the tree, a dog angel on the top & lots of fire hydrants for décor on the tree as well. She was overwhelmed and thanked us so many times over. She told us both, “You have just made my Christmas.” As we left her home the nurse who was with me & I told each other that she just made our Christmas.
Sisters and brothers, this is how we come to Christmas.
We too come like Kathryn, we are blessed by people and things in our lives yes, and our lives bruised and tattered, by challenges and difficulties of life. Yet Somehow on this night, we come here and receive God's incredible love, mercy and grace. Not because of what we have done or not done. Like Kathryn may we Experience on this Holy night God's incredible mercy and unconditional love. It’s in the human experience of God, our mind boggles, heart explodes, we sense in some way that we belong & that gives us hope.
My sisters and brother sometimes words are not enough they don't convey things with passion. But tonight a song will touch the heart. A song about this night.
Song O Holy Night,