01/01/17 - “Pharoah, Herod and You” - Gospel: Matthew 2:13-23

 
 
"Christmas doesn’t take away the possibility and potential of a broken heart -- it purposefully takes it on…" —Karoline Lewis
 
We had a wonderful set of Christmas Eve services. The music was beautiful, the sanctuary was full of people, there was a spirit of warmth and excitement. People were happy. We were celebrating the presence of God Among Us in a way we could love and relate to: a tiny baby born in awkward circumstances. Who wouldn’t have a full spirit and a warm heart after all that? And yet, real life is right around the corner.
 
We go straight from Christmas joy to the slaughter of the innocents (Matthew 2:13-23) on the first Sunday after Christmas. It is a jarring transition. I don’t know what the builders of the lectionary were thinking. I’m not alone in wishing they had at least put it off one more week so we could bask in the Christmas joy a little longer… but no. They had to bring the compete opposite; the terror of a despot, the vulnerability of the poor, the uncertainty of the future. And it isn’t just back in the first century. This is a very real story for today as well, so come to worship this weekend. We’ll ring out the old year and bring in the new completely aware of the fragile nature of life in the real world and the power of Christmas joy to be present even in that. 
 
Blessings to all,
Pastor Karla