Christmas Eve Sermon

Let us pray. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable unto you O Lord our rock and our redeemer. Amen.
I gave the kids keys tonight, as signs of hope, promise, and welcome. But there is also a much deeper reason for why they received keys. Yesterday, I received a text message with a photo of gingerbread keys. The author of the text said that she made them in honor of those refugees who have no home this Christmas. I quickly did a little digging and saw countless stories of refugees who upon leaving their homes took with them their house keys. Keys to homes they would not be returning to in the near future or at least not while there was no peace. They took keys originally because they thought they would be returning home soon, but as years passed they gave the keys to their homes to the next generation as symbols of hope for future, hope for safety, hope for an end to pain and suffering.
As I thought about tonight and things that have happened over the past year, there are many of us who are walking around hoping and praying. Hoping and praying for something more. Hoping and praying for an end to the violence, the pain, the suffering, the darkness that we are experiencing both as individuals and as a world. Let’s face it, our world has been quite scary the past year. We have seen terrible tragedies, experienced gut wrenching deaths, watched as loved ones battled illnesses and heartaches, and even we ourselves have felt much hurt and pain. We have lost relationship and jobs.
For the past four weeks in worship as we have journeyed through the Advent season our focus as a church has been the light of God shining in the darkness of the world. Meaning, that even in the midst of the hurt and pain we are facing, we hold onto to the promise and trust that God will continue to break in and through everything we are experiencing. We prayed for God’s kingdom to come and reign in our world. We prayed for our brokenness to be mended by God’s love. We heard Scripture about the promise made to our ancestors, promises that were fulfilled in the birth of Christ.
And so this night, we come here in the darkness of the evening to sing once again of God’s light shining in the darkness of the world and in our lives. We light candles and share that light with one another to remind them that God’s love is for them as well. So let us cling to the promise of love everlasting born in a stable this day, trusting and hoping in God’s love and promise for all of us. Amen.

Pastor Katie has served St. Paul Hametown since July 2012. She is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg with a Masters of Divinity and a concentration in Theology and Public Life. She is married with three children.

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