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Today is: Tuesday,25 July,2017 03:40:51 AM

Sermon preached by Fr. Ron Barnes, D.Min.                                                     Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Westminster, BC

1012012_91051_0.pngChristmas Decisions…

“.....When the angels had gone away into heaven ……”


Life is full of decisions: What career should I choose? What person should I marry? Where should we live? And we all have to make decisions. Without knowing until later if the decision was right or wrong.
The Shepherds had to make a decision. The angel had told them about the Birth of Jesus --- now, should they go to Bethlehem, or stay with the sheep? I’m sure that there were people who wanted to stay instead of to go, to play it safe, for even to decide not to go, not to make a decision, is to decide. The Shepherds decided to go, and they found Jesus. And because of that decision, their lives were changed --- “they returned Glorifying God” --- because of their decision, they would never be the same again.

On Christmas Eve, there were crowds of people here at the Cathedral --- they came, they heard the Gospel of the Birth of Christ, they experienced the Presence of God, and it was all good --- but what then? Was it all just a beautiful experience? Or will they change their lives and make a deeper commitment to Christ?  After the angels had returned to heaven, comes the time of decision --- a decision that can be life changing, or nothing.

Not only the Shepherds were called to make a decision, but the Wise Men too, those who saw the Star and new what it meant, they had to make a decision too. Would they go or stay. Their decision to go was life changing --- for they found Jesus in the house, with Mary and his foster father Joseph --- and they would never be the same again.

Celebrating Christmas is wonderful, heartwarming, gracious, and soul stirring --- but after the celebration comes the decisions. Because of what I have experiences on Christmas Eve:

  • Do I walk with Jesus daily, or not?
  • Do I accept Him as my personal Saviour, or quietly ignore Him?
  • Do I make a Commitment to His Church, or find some excuse for staying away?
  • Do I allow Jesus to change my life right now, or keep on in the same old way?
And the Shepherd said: “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass. And they went and found Jesus … just as the Angel has told them”.

The day after Christmas brings everyone to a decision --- What am I going to do with Jesus? --- do we leave from where we are, and begin the journey to our Bethlehem, or do we stay, as we are, where we are?
“.... When the angels had left…” --- comes the decisions that count. What will we decide?