Throughout the generations, from Abraham to Jesus, God lived up to his promises to be with his people—with protection, guidance, mercy, grace, and love. Jesus the Word put flesh on those promises, sealing God’s commitment to Creation for all time.
This day honors the beginning of all beginnings, the hope of all hopes, the epitome and the incarnation of all fresh starts, all clean slates and all tomorrows.
“I will go,” said the Son. “I will live their life. I will think their thoughts. I will dream their dreams. I will feel their pain. And if I have to, I will die their death. I will penetrate to the marrow of their bones, to the depths of their hearts. I will know them and be made known. I will make a way—a new way of freedom, a new way of love.”
“St. Augustine once prayed, ‘intimior intimo meo’: ‘You are closer to me than I am to myself.’ To find God, you don’t have to build great temples like Solomon. You don’t have to prove anything like Rehoboam. You don’t have to erect statues like Jeroboam. God is already right here with us, in our hearts, in our minds, in our very life. Where else would we want him to be?”
“The Temple was meant to be the permanent place where in the innermost sanctuary dwelled the Ark of the Covenant, holding the tablets of Moses from Horeb, and creating a literal resting place for God. Even so, Solomon asked ‘…but will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!'”
“So wrap our injured flesh around you; breathe our air and walk our sod. Rob our sin, and make us holy: perfect Son of God. Welcome to our world.”
The song sung at the end of this sermon is “Welcome to Our World” by Chris Rice, from the album Deep Enough to Dream, Rocketown Records, 2002. To hear it by the original artist–who is admittedly a far better singer than Fr. Lonnie–visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrgwL5r7IcU.