And the whole world was turned upside down
Bible Reading: John 1:1-15
During this reflection, there was a video playing of scenes in Canberra turning upside down. Near the end of the reflection the Christmas Tree which was at the front of the church auditorium, spun upside down and was suspended in mid air
I dont know how many people have noticed this, but as exciting as it is I wonder if you get the feeling there is always something the same about Christmas?
Ever noticed that?
Let me tell you, for those of us who are delivering sermons or messages across the world today unless it is the persons first year preaching, there is something of that feel - and maybe for a whole pile of people sitting in the seats,
Its a bit the same. The baby's born! Merry Christmas. Can we go and party now?"
I mean, what is there to say? What is there to notice? Has anything really changed? Lots of wondering this year but what has changed, or is it all the same
I mean in the area of communications is there anything different about the way that people speak with each other do people relate with each other in any different way at all now that Christ has come?
Or what about the way we look at cultures and history- even the way we look at ourselves do we still think about history the same do we still look at our culture, our nation, the Aboriginal people of this land in any different way at all now that Christ has come?
I wonder about the way that businesses operate or the way that we think about our work setting, or what we do with our money is it all the same, or is it any different at all now that Christ has come?
Christmas seems so much the same, year by year, doesnt it? Years come and go, and yet there is still war, and loss of life Youd have to ask whether we think of warfare any differently at all now that Christ has come?
And the way we establish and keep our relations with other nations, which nations we work with, which ones we work against, which ones we suspect Christmas comes, Christmas goes do we relate with each other across the world any differently at all now that Christ has come?
Even the way that we govern ourselves, the way that we rule ourselves the way that we think about ourselves as a nation. Weve shown it this year, havent we nothing much has changed We probably dont do anything differently at all now that Christ has come?
And if there is one thing in life that stays the same, its the church isnt it well I wonder if even the church acts differently and does things differently now that Christ has come
Is your household and family life the same as that? Noticed any change recently in the way you think of your household and the important things in life?
Has anything changed enough for you to say that you do things differently now that Christ has come
Or we could go for the big picture - how about the whole way we think about creation, nature do we think about it or treat it differently at all now that Christ has come.
Or are these all out there, too bit, too distant?
How about the very way we think of our own community, our own turf, our own patch of life Christmas is all so much the same; same story, same characters Even in our own community and backyard is anything different now that Christ has come?
Or maybe, just maybe, things arent the same.
Maybe, just maybe, if we look at the world the way that God sees it now, we might see that the perspective isnt all the same. Things have been changed. Or at least they could be changed, if we let them and noticed them. Maybe we could notice that when God drops in to life not only do things change a bit, but the whole world is turned upside down maybe we could start living life as if we were walking on the ceiling being the people who are operating in an upside down world and standing out as the ones who are different.
Because maybe we could notice the joy of things not operating the way that they always do we could celebrate things like that there is more joy in giving than receiving that unimportant people like outcasts and shepherds can be the first to visit God or that instead of trying to hold on and make ourselves seem important the value in life is more discovered in living a life of caring for others Or maybe we could be a people who hold on to hope, even when it seems as if all hope has gone Or we could speak out on behalf of others who have no voice and we could even be a people who are so spun upside down that we dont care about opinion polls or insurance matters when we care for those on the edge
You see, one of the things that occurred to me this week is that the story may be the same the baby might be back again this year the songs may be the same the Christmas story may have very much the same feel about it.
But none of that needs to hide the fact that when God became human the whole world got turned upside down, and life would never ever be the same again.
Not for you, not for me, not for the people of history, not for any of the nations of the world.
God is with us. Not distant, not hanging back ready to get rid of us or ignore us and move on to a more interesting project
God is with us and loving us.
Gospel. Good news.. Grace.
The story may be the same, but the song we sing about it can be different