The Oasis - December 20, 2018

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
December 20, 2018

Matthew 25:35-40
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

     This church seeks above all to follow the way of Jesus. And there are so many ways it tries to live that out. In ways both big and small, visible and invisible, the people of this church seek to do the work of God in ourselves, in each other, and in so many others. We all support this work in our own ways, whether it be through volunteering, through time, acts, pledges, talent, or words, or through the power of prayer and our own spiritual presence (often times the greatest gift of all). Each person who calls First Parish your  church, whether you’ve been in York since the Mayflower dropped you off, or you just walked into our doors for the first time this year, or you live far away and worship with us in spirit, you are a part of God’s work. There are people in this community who found a shoulder to cry on because of you. There are people who you may never realize chose life rather than despair because of you. Because of the love of this sacred community, far and wide. There are people who found housing, who were able to make it to their first paycheck, who made it through their long dark night of the soul because of the efforts of this church. There are children who have Christmas presents, adults who have reconnected with their parents, sick people who are now well, and homeless who can now stand on their own two feet.
     People come to this church who often times don’t know what  they’re looking for, or what it is that they need. But First Parish is there. Following the way of Jesus. First Parish is you , and you  do the work of God in this church, this community, and in places of the world that you will never visit. Thank God for you.
     This Christmas season, be  the Christ that is coming into this world. Everywhere you go, bring the love, light, example, and Good News of Christ that first came to this Earth two thousand years ago. We have a Christmas… but we don’t really need it. Christ is born every day through us. Through you.
     And if that doesn’t make it a Merry Christmas, I don’t know what could.

Exercise:  I ask every Confirmation Class I teach to do this one. With a partner or two (but separately) draw Christ, your image of what Jesus looks like in your heart of hearts. Then compare your drawings. See how different each drawing looks. Imagine all the ways Jesus reveals Himself to us every day.

Prayer:  Eternal Newborn God, be born again in my heart. Fill my spirit with more love than it can carry this Christmas season. Fill it to overflowing. Amen.

Song I’m listening to these days:  “Angel of Salvation,” by Galneryus.
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