Sunday 19 December 2021

Over the last week we have found that many churches will not welcome everyone. On Friday, we drove around town and when we found a church I went and looked. Many had a sign saying you needed a vaccine pass to enter. This is because they can have more people attending. We need to find a place to worship today, and after much looking we think we have somewhere we can go to.

Meeting for worship is our duty. We should not neglect meeting with each other, so we don’t get discouraged, and so we are challenged to shun the world and seek Christ.

Next week we celebrate Christmas. There is no snow in the Antipodes: it is summer. My daughter has had three feet of snow in her northern town. A lot of the secular christmas songs don’t work here.

I expect the usual suspects to mock. But over the next two Sundays, let us recall that God became man for our sake.

Collect One

Lord,
we beseech thee, give ear to our prayers,
and by thy gracious visitation
lighten the darkness of our hearts
by our Lord Jesus Christ;
who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Almighty God,
Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,
and put upon us the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which thy Son Jesus Christ
came to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty
to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.

Micah 5:2-5

2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labour has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring for ever.”

Hebrews 10:5-10

5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is programmed to go up on Sunday. We will be busy. We have jobs to do, church to attend, the remnants of the family Christmas gathering (yes, a week early) to deal with. Life goes on. The crisis does not go away.

However, when I went searching for carols this morning, I recalled that there are times we do things that are beautiful and noble.

We know them when we see them. They are no longer part of the elite culture, and they try to deconstruct them. Because beauty points to the creator, and that points to Christ.

Two quotes. The first has context: it was a sermon a priest gave for a golden wedding anniversary.

The expressions both public and private of our faith are more intense at this time of year than any other.

Our weakness in the face of forces beyond our control can only be answered by surrender. Only one surrender brings good and not evil. God alone can give us the refuge we seek.

Christmas trees and crèches and messages of joy connected to God’s initiative of salvation in the Incarnation of our Lord dominate the landscape around us in December. Catholic iconography and holy images are freely adopted by many who do not share our faith. For a short while each year, all the world seems Catholic once again.

This boldness of proclamation seems to arouse hatred, or perhaps triggers mental illness. More than 100 incidents of vandalism have been reported since May 2020, according to the USCCB. Reminders of God are not welcomed by those who wish to deny death or escape judgment for unrepented sin. This clinging to sin is enabled by spiritual blindness, the handmaid of evil.

To even write down concepts into words devalues the thoughts. How many conversations have you had where you had to explain the context for your audience before telling a joke only to find that they still didn’t get the joke?

Beauty grows and expands while ugliness can only exist as a parasite that weakens, degrades and degenerates the life force of beauty.

Notice how the oligarchs imposed Multiculturalism on every white majority country before they pushed for vaccine passports and the forced medication? They had to degrade our societies first.

Beauty is the reason we strive. Beauty is our strongest weapon. Even the most degenerate fluoridated injected television watching zombie can still recognise beauty, so the war is far from over. We will overcome the blanket of darkness.

This is one of the few times in the year when the elite allow true and beautiful things into the public arena. Enjoy them. Find a fellowship.

And praise Christ, born of Mary, for our salvation.