First Sunday after Christmas Day
“Please don’t take away the Child Jesus so soon”
John 1: 1-14
The Rev. Leonard B. Oakes
December 30, 2012
Every parent would agree that the birth of a child gives light to a home. There is plenty of joy to see a beautiful little child smile or grip your finger with his/her little hand. Each parent would remember the time when you cuddled your child and sing the lullaby, so gentle to put the child to sleep. A sibling may be so excited to have a brother or a sister to care and play with. A parent could also wish that moment of birth and child bearing last longer.
A parent told me one day, “Enjoy the company of your child while she is young.” There is truth to that especially when your child begins to observe privacy and lock herself in her room or when she wants to move away to a far place to exercise her independence. So please don’t take away the feeling of having a child as the light of a home, at least not so fast, for I want to keep the wonderful feeling a little longer.
I saw a neighbor removing his Christmas decors just a day after Christmas. I asked why? He said, “Christmas is over” Please don’t take away the child Jesus so soon. I need to feel the story a little deeper, a little closer, a little while. Let his light consume my heart. You see, soon he is going to be grown up and suffer pain and be crucified. Please don’t rush, let me enjoy the moment a little longer.
We all know the difficulties of every parent whose child was a victim of human failures and even with that of natural calamities. In the fullness of time, the light of God will heal their hearts. Let us continue to pray for that light to penetrate the deepest darkness in our society.
Last night, I watched the news about Russian president Vladimir Putin signing a law banning Americans from adopting Russian kids. There were these childless parents who only had two months to go before the adoption papers are finalized only to find they are being deprived from loving and having a child. This reminds me of our friend Lyle Richardson who has an orphanage in Russia. I just hope and pray that he is not deprived of sending support to that institution.
Christmas reminds us of the many families who have to be separated and be deprived of love and joy and the opportunity to a better life in their pursuit of happiness. I am talking about the parents or their children being separated from each other because of immigration issues.
This reminds me of the recent gathering I attended at the San Francisco State building in our attempt to ask Governor Jerry Browne to support and sign the TRUST Act. 75 people from religious and community organizations came out to watch Mary and Joseph knock on the door of Gov. Brown – asking that he works on the TRUST ACT immediately, to prevent more families like theirs, from being separated this holiday season. I acted as one of the Magi carrying the symbolism of light. The three magi’s went through the building security process while the rest of the people are chanting and singing outside the building. Then we went up to the 14th floor where the office of Governor Browne is. I knocked at the door three times, getting our gifts ready to present to him. One is carrying 400 signed cards asking the Governor to sign the TRUST Act, the other is carrying big pen for him to sign and I was carrying a candle light as a symbol that when he signs it, it will give light to the darkness these families are going through. Unfortunately, the door was locked and it has been locked for a year now due to budget constraints. The Governor can only be reached in Sacramento California. We came down and reported to the people, not of without hope, but with a stronger conviction that we will go to Sacramento on January 7th, just a day after the Three Kings day, to deliver those undelivered gifts. I ask your prayers and support to all families who are vulnerable to being deprived of love, joy and happiness. Let the light of the child Jesus, the word of God, illuminate the darkness of the nation. Let not your hearts be troubled, trust in God and trust in the love of the light that came to save us.
Brothers and sisters, this is that time of the year when families are re-united again and celebrate the coming of the light in the Holy family in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph. We take this time to reflect on what it is to be a family. The family is the basic unit of society and the Church. It is in the family that we first learn to communicate, and that we learn what is good and bad. It is in the family that we learn what love is because it is in the family that we first receive love. It is in the family that we first learn to forgive and to pray. It is in the family that we first learn about God and Jesus, Joseph and Mary. It is in the family that we learn to value ourselves and to value everything else, picking up our values from what is said and unsaid by our parents. Our family forms us for many years to come.
It is important for us to continue to re-tell the story of the Holy Family in our homes. Let the light of God’s word shine in our homes, ever remembering the love of God every time we are about to fall from the pit of dissolution. Ever remembering that God sent Jesus to us to reveal his love and to show us the way to him. God chose a family to show us how all families are to find their way to him. We pray that our families fulfill God’s plan because that is the only way to be happy families.God’s Holy Family was a family with special graces but yet a family with trials. Every family has particular graces and blessings and every family also has difficulties and crosses. But God did not abandon the Holy Family, certainly God did not abandon us for He has given us grace full of Love and joy.
Let the words in the Gospel be our hope when St. John wrote:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
May the blessing of the light be with you now and in the coming years. Amen.