For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
This weekend we will undertake the grand work of retelling God’s salvation story through a service of Lessons and Carols. We will begin with Genesis and finish with the early narratives of the gospels. It is a labor of love – an opportunity to share with God our thanksgiving for the work of Christ in our world.
The tradition of sharing the story this way dates back to the early twentieth century in England where they were trying to bring creativity to bear upon an age-old tale. Though the carols may change and even some of the passages shift from year to year, the narrative is much the same as it has always been.
But there is a key part of the story that we do not tell on Lessons and Carols day. The crimson thread that runs through scripture – the true story of salvation – is not just about the Christ-child. It is about how God has always been the champion of the last and the least among the children of God. Jesus is God’s Word made flesh, the truth of who God is, however God has always been present among God’s people. The story is so much bigger than one night (or even thirty-three years) two-thousand years ago.
What is more, the story of God’s salvation continues now – in you and in me. God’s love is still set loose within the world, stirring things up, working as a ferment, and ensuring that the reign of God will win in the end.
The beauty of the Christmas story is it’s ability to help us to see how God still breaks into our world. It is a miracle that teaches us what to look for and how to live.
So come and listen again this weekend. Sing with the angels in praise. And leave to tell the story by finding the crimson thread in our midst and serving God’s purposes in our lives.