CHRIST By The rev. John Donnelly CHRISTMAS EVE SERMON for Dec. 24, 10am, @ Christ Church Quaker Farms
Perhaps one of the most peaceful moments of the year will occur when later tonight after we've received communion and lit our candles and start to sing “Silent night, holy night ,sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”
· As we sang those beautiful words by candlelight, if your heart is open, you will experience that heavenly peace to descend upon this room and descend upon your very soul.
Famous American author Mark Twain once described the human desire to find Peace of Mind . He wrote. “From cradle to grave everything that a person does is designed to secure Peace of Mind spiritual comfort for himself.”
As usual Mark Twain cuts right through all the spinning hype and gets right to the point we all want Peace of Mind ; but Peace of Mind is an elusive commodity. How hard it comes and how easy it vanishes.
Individually we work hard to maintain secure employment , secure homes, and to provide security for our loved ones in order that we might achieve Peace of Mind for the present and future.
· Many of us strive to achieve Peace of Mind and our health by exercising right, eating wisely ,securing the best medical care which money combined.
· We find additional security and relationships at home , church or in places of employment or the like. No
However, in spite of our best efforts, Peace of Mind, created by humans, is fragile and fleeting.
· How quickly is our Peace of Mind shattered by sudden illness, or death, or accidents;
· but of course if we are honest with ourselves, our Peace of Mind is not only disrupted by powers outside of us, for sometimes inner forces emerge from our own heart and shatter our Peace of Mind.
· I remember coming home one night when I was in a foul mood. I snapped at my family. And then I was surprised when everybody snapped back at me. And I preceded to blame them for ruining my evening.
· By my own resources, my Peace of Mind is like the proverbial house of cards. Indeed, the human quest for permeant peace of mind is bound to fail.
The bible tells us that God looked down from heaven, and saw the outer and inner turmoil destroying humanity. So at Christmas, God gave the one and only source of peace…The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
You see, Jesus was born for you.
· God wants each of us to experience a deep and lasting peace of mind, not just at Christmas, but year round.`
This is what the shepherds heard from the angels, who said, “For unto is born a Savior, who will bring peace to all people, with whom God is well pleased.”
· Think about that. The greatest miracle of all time the birth of God on earth occur so that you personally can find peace now and forever.
· Jesus was born so that even when you face problems or trouble, you can experience inner peace which will not fade away
Most of my life I never understood that the peace of heaven can be experienced in this life. So Jesus says, “Peace of Mind. I give to you my own peace I leave with you not as the world gives where it's here today and gone tomorrow but lasting peace therefore do not let your hearts be troubled nor let them be afraid for this peace can overcome all the trouble of the world.”
This is the testimony of many parishioners at Christ Church Quaker Farms.
· Of course, we all face horrible tragedies at one time or another. But the inner peace, that comes from Jesus, carries us through.
There Was a time in my life when I was panic stricken with anxiety.
· A Christian friend explained to me that that was because I had only partially turned my life over to Jesus.
· Jesus wants all of me. So, I asked Jesus to forgive of my sins.
· Then, I prayed that He would enter my heart as my Savior and Lord.
· Now the peace did not come immediately; but Jesus inspired me to walk on the path with Him, as that I could grow to trust Him with trust.
· Now, through his grace, I experience more peace of mind than anxiety. Thanks be to God.
Right now, you can ask the Prince of Peace to come and enter or reenter your heart, and you can find the peace Jesus wants you to have.
· Jesus is just as close to you as a prayer.
· Now if you are not part of a believing Church, then find one.
· These people will support you in your journey of peace.
· Indeed, true peace of mind often emerges in the fellowship of fellow seekers and finders of peace of mind.
Let’s conclude in Prayer. “O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin, and enter in. Be born in us today. How silently, how silently, the wonderous gift is given. Soo God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.” AMEN.