I was recently speaking with a man from the community who was both repelled and fascinated by the Church and religion. He had a lot of questions, but one in particular intrigued me. He asked, “What were holidays like Christmas originally designed to do for people? Is there a way to dial it back so that holidays actually mean something other than spending?”

I’ve been asked a lot of things over the years, but this question was new and is more important than I think the man asking it realized. At its core, this question is both an indictment of the Church and a plea for some shred of hope. It’s an indictment because, if the Church had been living its mission, the question would be unnecessary. But it also contains the hope that maybe there’s still some way to peel back all the layers and find something that can help us get through this life with a sense of meaning and purpose.

In this sermon, I explore his question and the larger meaning of Christmas.

Pastor Anne

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