Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Final Word - A Homily for Christmas Day, 2012

Homily for Christmas Day, 2012
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
Trinity Anglican Church, Bradford, ON
The Rev. Daniel F. Graves
Text: John 1:1-14

Although the powers of darkness would seek to overcome and destroy us, they can never be the final word for us. 

When we cast our minds back over the course of our lives, I think many of us will realize that there are things we have done, and left undone, for which we are not proud.  All too often, these mistakes become for us the narratives that shape our lives.  Our mistakes and our sins have the potential to become the word of our lives, but the message of today is that even our grossest deeds, our most careless errors, and even our most malicious mistakes need not be the final word for us.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many because the pain of a recent – or even not-so-recent – loss may feel overwhelming.  When so many are making merry, the gap left by a loved one who is no longer with us, and the sorrow we feel, may feel like the word that is written upon our lives, but it need not be the final word for us.

In the midst of the great brokenness of this world, amidst senseless violence like the recent shooting in Connecticut, amidst accidents and unforeseen losses, imagining that the world is so irretrievably lost that only a 2012 Armageddon that will wipe things out may seem like the only word for a helplessly hurting world, but it need not be the final word for us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God!

The only word that truly matters to us, the only word that really has a hold on our lives, the only word that is of any true substance is Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who was in the beginning with God and through whom all things were created.  This is the only word that matters because all things came into being through him.  Not one thing that was created came into being without him. All other words that seek to have a claim on us ultimately have not power or claim over us, for they are not the source of either our being, or our Salvation.  They are not the light of life.  The very Word that gives us life and light is the Word that is written upon our hearts and upon our very being, and should any other word seek to erase or deface that word, that word shall not stand.

We can fail to see the Word because the darkness is often so overwhelming that our vision is obscured, and that is why the Word became flesh.  When the world seemed too dark, when other words seemed to echo in our ears and garble our thoughts, the Word became flesh.

The Word becomes flesh and casts away the other words that seek to imprint themselves on our lives.  The light shines in the darkness, and although the darkness seeks to overcome the light it cannot.  The light casts out the darkness.

Darkness still covers the earth but we have a light that forces it back.  Other words still seek to write themselves into our story, but we have a Word that is our story, and no other words shall take his place. 

Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is God’s final word for us.  Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and although at times the darkness seems powerful, and those other words seem multitudinous, Jesus is written on our hearts and indeed, he is the light which shines forth from our new life in him.  By his grace, by water and the Spirit, we are a new creation and so we need not fear any other word or be threatened by the darkness. If God is for us, who can be against us?

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