If in your heart you make a manger for his birth
Then God will once again become a child on earth.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Something Just For Fun
This was my Children's Sermon in 2002:
Merry Christmas, boys and girls!
How are you doing tonight?
Do you remember who comes to visit us tonight?
That's right, Gaston, the French Canadian reindeer who sometimes helps Santa with his sleigh.
So, let's call him. . . . Gaston, Gaston. . . .
Gaston: Bonsoir, boys and girls. Joyeux Noel! It is wonderful to see you again!
Bill: Merry Christmas, Gaston, what have you been up to?
Gaston: I am a movie star!
Bill: What do you mean, you're a movie star?
Gaston: Well, didn't you see The Santa Claus 2?
Bill: I did. You mean you were in it?
Gaston: Mais oui, I played Comet.
Bill: Boys and girls, did any of you see Santa Claus 2?
So, Gaston, what did you like best about being on the movie set?
Gaston: I got to eat all that candy! And the elves taught me a lot of Christmas jokes.
Bill: Oh, really? Like what?
Gaston: What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
Bill: I give up. What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
Gaston: It's Christmas, Eve! What's it called when Santa claps his hands?
Bill: I don't know. What's it called when Santa claps his hands?
Gaston: Santapplause! Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?
Bill: I don't know. Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?
Gaston: Santa Jaws! Who delivers presents to cats at Christmas?
Bill: I give up. Who delivers presents to cats at Christmas?
Gaston: Santa Paws! Who delivers presents to elephants at Christmas?
Bill: I don't know. Who delivers presents to elephants at Christmas?
Gaston: Elephanta Claus!
Bill: Well, Gaston, I think it's pretty great that you've become a movie star, but now I need to talk to the boys and girls about another kind of star. So why don't you say Merry Christmas to the boys and girls, and we'll see you next year!
Gaston: Merry Christmas, boys and girls. Joyeux Noel!
Well, boys and girls, that was fun with Gaston!
Let me ask you a question: Have any of you heard of Moravia before?
It's in a country known as the Czech Republic.
Back in the 18th century a new church was started in Moravia, and it became known as the Moravian Church.
One of its leaders was a man named Zinzendorf.
Isn't that a fun name to say? Try it: Zinzendorf.
Well, Zinzendorf came to America, and on Christmas Eve in 1741 he founded a town in Pennsylvania.
What do you think he named this town that he founded on Christmas Eve?
Yes, that's right! Bethlehem. That's how Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, began.
Well, about 150 years ago in Germany, there was a Moravian teacher who taught geometry.
Do any of you know what geometry is about?
Well, this Moravian geometry teacher made the first Moravian Star.
Isn't it amazing how it's put together?
So what do you think the star stands for?
The star that led the wise men to Bethlehem
And in the last book of the Bible, there's this verse: "It is I, Jesus . . . the bright and morning star." (Revelation 22:16)
So after the service, you can go to my office, and Mrs. Roberts will give you a Moravian Star for you to hang on your Christmas tree, and remember the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem, and remember Jesus, who is our morning star.
And as a special bonus, when Mrs. Martin heard about the Moravian Star she remembered something called the Moravian cookie.
So Mrs. Roberts will also give you a couple of Moravian cookies!
O God, make the door of my heart wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, and a heavenly Father's care; and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride, and hate. Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged enough to turn back the tempter's power. Make it a gateway to your eternal kingdom. Amen.
Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1637-1711