Messages, Reflections & Sermons from Fr. John

Messages, Reflections & Sermons from Fr. John

Fr. John’s Christmas Message 2018

Dear Parish Community,

Having recently attended my 20-year high school reunion, I have had high school on my mind.  I took a film class during my senior year and we spent time studying Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.  I remember our teacher saying as we began viewing the movie that Orson Welles from the beginning set out to make the greatest film of all time.  Citizen Kane has been hailed as such by audiences, critics, actors, writers, producers and movie aficionados for many years.

I decided, similarly to Orson Welles, that this year I would write the greatest Christmas message of all time.  However this thought quickly dissipated as I realized that this was an impossibility, for the greatest Christmas message has already been told.  It was told by God through the Angel who said to the whole world, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”[1]

The reason I feel these verses, from St. Luke’s Gospel, is the greatest Christmas Message of all time as well as one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is twofold.   A Saviour has been born!  A Saviour has been given!  On a winter’s night, this news rang out through the world amplifying the first part of the message, with supreme majesty, it is news, it is a message given to all.  It is given to all and meant to be heard by all.  This is why this message is so wonderful, for in these twofold joys, a Saviour being born, a Saviour for us all, what God did on Christmas was let us know, beyond any doubt, that the God of space and time, the God of the universe, the God of Heaven, loves us, each and everyone of us.  For the Christmas promise, the Christmas message, the Christmas story is one of love, the love of God for God’s cherished creation.  Ponder this for a moment.  Let this sit with each of us for a moment.  Take a moment to shout out loud that Christ was given by God for me, and Christ accepted me, because He came, ministered, died and Rose for me.  And He did this willingly.

This was all in the Christmas message given by the Angel, a message that if we allow it to penetrate deep inside us, if we allow it to enter into our deepest hurts and pains and sadness, no matter what they may be, will bring us solace and relief because in Christ we have the greatest gift of all, hope.   That hope is tangible for that hope is Himself, which was given first at birth and which continues to be given even until today and beyond.

In times of joy, in times of pain let us celebrate the message given by the Angel two thousand years ago.  It is a timeless message easy to be found in joy and so needed in our pain.  For it is in our pain where we need Him the most and where He can always be found offering us His healing presence. When we doubt this, return to the message, a message meant for all, to be received by all, to be spread by all, to be celebrated by all, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”[2]

My friends I look forward to greeting you at Saint James this Christmastide.  I pray for safe travels for those spending Christmas away from Amesbury and those traveling to Amesbury and wish you all and those you love a very Merry and Blessed Christmastide and a Happy New Year.

Yours In Christ

[1] The Gospel According to Luke 2:10-11

[2] The Gospel According to Luke 2:10-11

 

Fr. John’s Sermons

Sermon – Good Friday – 2018(B)

Sermon – Easter Day – 2018(B)

Sermon – Proper 21 – 2017(A) – October 1, 2017

Sermon – Pentecost 8 – Proper 10 – 2016(C) July 10, 2016

Sermon – June 19, 2016 – Pentecost 5, Proper 7 – 2016(C) In response to the Orlando Shooting