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You Can Touch Him

Sermon, Christmas Day 2012.

Christmas 2012

St Petri

After viewing illustration, “Sticky Jesus”

You can touch him.

Luke 2:10-11

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

“You can touch him”. That is what this Mum and her son come to.

Jesus, the one whose birth we are celebrating is not to be left alone, polished and spotless, out of reach of mere children like us – You can touch him. Pure and simple….and stunning.

God, touchable, reachable, within reach and within our grasp, if we should truly grasp at him…..

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

With our dirty fingers, distracted minds, unhealthy choices, crowded doubts about him, broken relationships, broken world, regrets, hopes for our future, workaholism, addictions, fears, loves, and every part of us – we can touch him.

This is only so because he made it possible. He bothered to get in our way. He allowed us to touch him. In the womb of a young girl, in the feeding trough of a shed, among the everyday crowds seeking hope, among the chosen few, among the super-spiritual people ended up wanting him dead because they knew he had them by his love and compassion – he made it possible for them to touch him.

And now, in the everyday Spirit-filled word of God, the spirit-filled actions of his people, the continuous gathering of people in his presence in a local Christian church building somewhere near you, in his simple but profound gift of death and resurrection at our baptism, by his hosting of the holy meal he invites us to share when we gather, by the prayers, the love, the gathering, the service and the living of his people – you can touch him.

Friends, this Christmas and this year, what do you really want for yourself and your family? More of the same? More of this hope and love and power?

Friends, if not for you then maybe for the world in which we live: what do we as the global community want; more of the same or something of his hope and life making a difference in our lives and those with whom we share our street, our town, our Valley, our country and beyond?

I am not sure why you came here today, but I hope you go away not missing this hope – “you can touch him” because you are not too dirty for him, too messed up, too special, too unclean, too sophisticated, too cynical, too weak, too broken for him – you can touch him. He is within reach in your life. He is in your Way and through your path.

It is the firm conviction of Christians that we need to touch him. We need to handle him. We need to lay our burdens, our guilt, our fears – our mess on him – because he can take it and does take. By his woulds we are healed, says the bible.

On him was laid the sin of us all. All fall short of the expectations and glory of God – but thanks to this little guy and the man he will become for us, we are free – and if the Son sets you free, then yu are free indeed.

Luke the woman in desperate need of healing who dared to touch the hem of his clothes;

Like the thief on the cross who cried out a word of thanks to his fellow innocent crucified man;

Like the woman caught in the act of adultery who was about to be stoned to death but was sheltered from angry men by an unexpected ally;

Like the little kid who smeared peanut paste all over the camel and made a mess of baby Jesus and his pristine condition, we need to grab hold of this baby Jesus and trust that he is willing to be handled and messed up for us.

He did not come to condemn you – but to love. He is not present with us this Christmas to condemn you but to love you and show you what it is to be a person who can handle the mess of your life, the chaos of your life, the darkness of your own heart – if you are willing to admit you know these things.

So, when are you going to reach out? When are you going to take him in the manger AND the cross and handle him?

Friends, do it today. Do it tomorrow. Give this day to him and grab hold of him and see where he leads you.

And if you know him well, and your heart is jumping at this good news of his presence in your life, then enjoy. Respond in joy. Respond by rolling your own sleeves up and dicing into where angels fear to tread as you be him for others today and tomorrow. Allow them to handle you. Take people’s dirt and wash it away with the good news of this baby boy;

God with us – Emmanuel.

Hope of this world

Life for each of us.

Love for the unloved and loveless.

Peace for the soul and in the conflict.

Pure. Simple….Stunning

 You can touch him.


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