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Sermon: Christmas I

Last night, just before I went to bed, a friend posted a story entitled, “Six Nights of Hanukkah, Seven Anti-Semitic Incidents in New York City.”

This morning as I checked my news feed, I saw the news that five people were stabbed Saturday night in a Rabbi's home at a Hanukkah celebration.

The irony (not sure if that's the right word, but it's the one I'm using) – the irony of yesterday's attack is that it happened on the 4th Day of Christmas – the day on the Christian calendar when we commemorate the Feast of the Holy Innocents. That is the day we remember ordering the killing of all the children in and around Bethlehem after the Wise Men left. These people attacked in NYC were and are Holy Innocents.

These attacks in NYC and elsewhere upon Jews, people of color, women, as well as LGBT people, and others who are simply “different,” have no place in our society –p a society that supposedly claims all people are created equal.

In the face of hate, we must proclaim love. In the face of violence, we must proclaim peace.

If we believe God is love, if we believe Jesus Christ came for the salvation of all, then we must proclaim that. In the face of all that is dark, hateful, fearful, and evil, we must proclaim another way.

As we will sing here in a minute or so, “Of the Father's love . . . evermore and evermore.”

We must call out, speak against, and stand up to evil. We must proclaim the way of love.

If we don't, then our silence will be deafening. If we don't, then our silence will be complicity. If we don't, then we will be literally killing “those other people” with our silence.

Christmas came in the heart of darkness. The light shone in the darkness and the darkness did not over come it.

In today's world, we must be that light.


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