John is reminding us today that Christmas is not just for those inside of churches today. It is not just for those who sing the loudest to Christmas songs or wear the brightest Christmas sweaters or put out the most Christmas lights. It’s not just for the cheery people who seem to have everything going well. Christmas is for snakes. It is for those who have been left out. Those who others call scary. Those who think they have made too big of mistakes that no one can forgive.
Let’s join with God in flattening those mountains and lifting up those valleys and smoothing those paths, so that others can know peace, know joy, know love.
Lift up those who are forgotten and ignored. Be present with those who are hurting. Speak for compassion and justice for all humanity. And show God’s love to all, especially those who don’t believe God can love them.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. And the way he lived, the way he taught, the way he walked with people, cared for people, died for people is the way God loves us.
God has come into the world, take on our flesh, lived and healed, breathed, and touched, died and rose again, so that all the powers of evil, sin, and death would be conquered. We may not be strong enough to overcome sin on our own, but Christ is.
God may not always respond as we wish, but God never says, “I’m too busy. Stop asking. Instead, God says to us, I’m always here. And I always want to be a part of your life.
You all are a part of God’s work every time you show hospitality, you create something beautiful and new, every time you guide the gifts that are brought in or take care of this house of worship and love.
And that is what Jesus came to show us and teach us: how to love. Jesus’ very birth and life on earth was out of God’s love for the world. Jesus, who didn’t label which people deserved love and which didn’t, but welcomed, healed, and served all. Jesus, who out of such wondrous love for God and for us, gave his life on the cross, so we could all know God’s love which neither death nor life can separate us from. Everything Jesus did was to show us how beautiful love truly is. He wanted us to know that we are loved and he wanted us to pass that love on.