Hot cross buns already?

Well, today is Epiphany, the feast of the three kings, where we consider the revelation of God in Christ Jesus. This marks the end of the Christmas season. But Christmas isn’t really over, in spite of what I saw in the supermarket two days ago. Yes, as I hinted in the title, hot cross buns were already on display! And this is even before the fruit mince pies have reached their use-by date! Does Christmas have a use-by date then? No, it can’t. We need to keep hold of the wonder of Christmas, the sense of awe that God would allow Godself to be born as a tiny vulnerable human, to teach and to guide us, and ultimately die for our salvation.

When I saw the hot cross buns, I was sad as I reflected upon the shallowness of our culture. We are all too happy to have the trappings of a religious festival – Christmas trees, Advent wreaths, Nativity scenes, and then hot cross buns – with or without peel – but can we as a culture cope with the raw powerful images behind the symbols? Can we cope with a baby born in poverty, destined to die for all of us, only to rise again? Can we cope with a youngish man,a good man, who loved everyone, but who was cruelly tortured and murdered, and all because God planned it so?

At Christmas we must never take God’s sacrifice lightly. We must surely try to embody Jesus in everything we do and say, and remember that God wants us to love Him. He just won’t force us to. Or even bribe us with hot cross buns, with or without peel.

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Sermon for Advent

Sermon  Dec 9 2012

Rev Felicity O’Brien

Advent. It’s such a complex time of year. There are all the preparations for end-of-year do’s – bring a plate everywhere you go. There are requests for donations to Childrens’ charities  – bring a wrapped present with the age of the recipient. There are food bank appeals – bring a tin of something. There are invitations to drinks – bring a bottle.

It gets very busy as with end of year functions as well as preparing for Christmas festivities. One phase of life is ending as the school year finishes, but there is no time to acknowledge and give thanks for all that has gone, and to pray for the next journey, because there is no stillness to reflect amid all the busyness. Or so it can seem. Continue reading