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Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.

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Christmas Day, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
December 25, 2021

Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

‘Re-imagining God’

Andrew Collis

Religious doctrine ought to raise questions, evoke visions, encourage thinking.

At Christmastime we can find ourselves discouraged though, inundated with thoughtless sentiment, mere repetition, cliché.

The doctrine of the Incarnation, central to all manner of orthodoxy, means adventure, freedom. The contradictions (often jarring, embarrassing) – divinity, humanity; virginity, motherhood – may be crucial. They make space for new thinking, new life together.

Incarnation/Christmas invites our re-imagining virginity or radical sensitivity to the world as a mode of parenthood; the art of nurture, protection, guidance and release enabling/producing a second naïveté or beginner’s mind.

The two terms, virginity and parenthood, exchange places. The miraculous takes place in this angelic realm.

Incarnation/Christmas invites our re-imagining God as a poor child among the animals in need of our love; human being as an embodiment of cosmic care.

Divinity – a poor child among the animals in need of our love … Humanity – an embodiment of cosmic care … a custodial species.

The two terms, divinity and humanity, cross over in playful fashion. The miraculous takes place here, in this stable, again and again.

Just imagine. God is a baby born to the most needy couple in the street, in the neighbourhood, in the town. God is a baby born in a stable or chicken coop because there is no hospitality elsewhere. Everything in the gospels points, backward and forward, to this …

Just imagine. We take part in it – congregations, families, unions, cooperatives, houses of hospitality, farm communes, community gardens, ecosystems …

Adventure. Freedom. Poetry. Ethics. World without end.

As we attend to works of love, shepherds keeping watch, we receive the same news from the angel.

The good news is both gift and task. Despite the thoughtless and the crass, we are star-guided to the Incarnation, to re-imagine divinity and humanity; to re-imagine virginity and parenthood. We are deemed worthy of this wisdom.

The angel says be wise at Christmastime. In the face of foolishness (immature desires, selfishness), think and act otherwise. Amen.