2/24/2019 Live Worship @1stPres
1_13_2019_sermon Unquenchable Fire
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols 8pm Service
Celebrate Christmas with the Jazz Band, Chancel Choir, Organ and piano as we hear the story of Jesus' birth and sing your favorite Christmas hymns.
Easter Sunday - Because, Love
We gather each week to worship and be encouraged to be people of God. Mostly that means learning how to love and working on loving others.. Speaker: Matt Gough. John 20:1-18.
Belong - 12/24/2017
Christmas Eve Meditation
December 24, 2016 pm Service
Who does this night belong to?
Who belongs to Christmas?
An unwed pregnant teenager, an embarrassed and doubtful fiance, humble
shepherds and powerful kings and magnificent angels.
A baby is born for them all.
They belong to Christmas.
A dirty and wild eyed baptizing prophet, humble uneducated fishermen, a
disliked sinner tax-collector?
Each of them belong.
A leper at the side of the road, a blind man at the gate, a paralytic, a
This night belongs to them.
A Samaritan woman, a prostitute, sinners around the dinner table, the one
caught in adultery, the one who betrayed.
They too, they especially belong to Christmas.
The doubters, the faithful, the pharisee persecutor, those who saw and
believed and those who did not see.
All belong to Christmas.
A birth meant to be born in all hearts. The light and love that flows
throughout history and across all borders.
All belong to Christmas.
The displaced refugee who has lost everything, those grieving loved ones
lost to violence, all orientations and all genders, black lives and Standing
Rock Sioux. They all belong.
Also the privileged, those in uniform, the rich young rulers and the
corporate CEOS. They also belong to Christmas.
This night God breaks into our histories, into our societies, into our ways
and our traditions.
This night God breaks down our borders and our resistance, our fears our
With a simple birth God proclaims: All belong to Christmas. All belong to
God, all belong to God being made flesh. All humanity, in all its diversity, all
of it, belongs.
You belong to this night.
Those who come with joy, those who come with grief. Those dragged here
under threat, and those waiting to get it over with. Those who wiggle and
squirm, those who nod off to sleep. Those who had too much Christmas
egg nog and those who celebrate another year of sobriety. Those who live
with mental illness and those who feel estranged from family. Those who
desperately need a rest, and those who despairingly want to be needed.
Those who cling on to hope and those who have lost it. You all belong.
You belong. Christmas means humanity all belongs. We are what God
intended. We, in all of our messy beautiful diversity, we belong. And we are
complete and whole when we are connected, by divine unconditional love,
by gratitude for life, being born in our hearts.
You belong to Love in the flesh.
And because you all belong, you also all belong to each other. Look
around. You belong to one another. You belong to those like you and
those radically different from you. You belong to the muslim and the jew,
the atheist and the agnostic, the mormon and the fundamentalist. You
belong to the immigrant and to the refugee, to the protestor and the
policeman. The democrat and the republican. You belong to the unforgiven
sister/brother/mother/friend. You belong to all of them, and they belong to
And Christmas will break in again and again and again, ...until we get that,
until we live like it, and until ALL can truly proclaim that ALL belong.
Until then, may it become a little bit more true this night, this Holy Eve, this
very Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.