So we have good enough historical reasons for celebrating Christmas in the darkness of winter. But I believe we have even better theological reasons for doing so. What I want to argue today is that we need darkness in order to understand Christmas. I want to try to convince you that if we never experience darkness, we will never be able to see the one true light.
Shepherds are supposed to protect the sheep. So what do we do when shepherds say things that incite others to go after the sheep? The question of how to make our communities safe is being asked by city councils and school districts all over the country.
We finished the series on Paul last week, so on Sunday night, I went back to the lectionary and found two choices for the sermon today: this passage in Isaiah about the new creation or one in the Gospel of Luke about the end of the world. At the time, I wasn't sure which one would be most appropriate for a sermon after the election, and I'm still not sure, because a lot of us don't know what just happened or how we got here.
To preach on the politics of Paul, I could launch into a long discussion of the various schools of Christian political philosophy, but I think it will be more helpful if I just tell a story. This is the story of one Christian for whom the politics of Paul was no abstract theory; it was a lived reality. This is the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.